I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Drilling a Dry Hole......NOT a Humdinger

Suggesting our Executive Session from 10-23-2017 was somehow inappropriate is akin to someone drilling a dry hole

The Sheriff's Office, through their Attorney Gerald Champaign, has requested an investigation of the BCC's Legally appropriate (FL Stat. 286.011[8] )Shade Meeting from October 23rd 2017. The email from Champaign dated 11/17/2017 initiating the request that the SAO investigate the BCC also singles out (then) chairman Doug Underhill: From the November 17th email, when I was vice chair and Doug Underhill was Chair "We also observe the current chairman [Underhill] has publicly stated that it is his opinion that it's proper to conduct a "shade" meeting when the subject of the meeting is "potential litigation"... Problem is, I don't believe I ever heard then chairman Underhill ever say that; in fact it is my recollection that he opposed this appropriate meeting--even though he participated in this meeting before abruptly leaving the meeting after it had commenced. More importantly, a team of attorneys with the county vetted the legality of this meeting thoroughly before the meeting took place, and I am also told that the SAO staff was consulted before this meeting took place and that no issues were indicated at that time, before the October 23rd Meeting. So no, this is not a "HumDinger"---this is more of the same...Aggressive, strong-arm and scorched earth tactics to achieve budgetary ends. Even in the face of now multiple olive branches being passed from the BCC to the ECSO. Disappointing but there is no smoking gun here. No "there" there, if you will. Nope, not a "HumDinger" this is someone's futile effort at (to coin a term I have seen the Sheriff himself utilize) "drilling a dry hole."


Eric Haines said...

Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, you are well aware that YOU are the person who actually made the statement that it was only “potential” litigation”. Apparently Gerry thought the chairmanship had been handed over. We have the audio so that point is irrelevant. (Of course, in true BOCC fashion we were initially told audio didn’t exist.) A Commissioner said “potential litigation” as the rationale for the shade meeting and that Commissioner was you. The statute doesn’t allow a shade meeting for “potential litigation” which you stated may potentially occur if the BOCC decides to litigate against a ruling by the governor. I’m of the belief that your rationale is insufficient for a shade meeting. Also, your “olive branch” speech rings hollow and grows tiresome. Why are you using the term “humdinger” throughout this post? You regularly mock the Sheriff then on the dais you want to act like an olive branch is being handed out and that you don’t want to be “adversarial”. In actually your “Blue Penny” tax is a violation of current statute. Obviously, that branch was dead on arrival. Also behind the scenes YOU are the only commissioner antogonizing relations with the ECSO. The technical shenanigans the BOCC is using to attempt to stop the whole budget picture from getting to the governor is petty and pathetic. Your attorneys are simultaneously trying to strike our reply to your response while arguing nothing further can be considered by the governors commission other than the appeal and response. That argument is diametrically opposed to the argument that the meeting had to be in the shade. If nothing can be added to the appeal, release the transcript of the shade meeting and stoping hiding the discussion from the public as that would show the BOCC truly believes we can’t add anything to our appeal. I’m going to predict you all aren’t that confident in your motion to strike.

You’ve got traction amongst a core group of Sheriff Morgan haters and you are eagerly acting as their mouthpiece. Unfortunately for you that is a very small portion of the voters and I suspect it will ultimately end up backfiring on you.

Jeff Bergosh said...


Here's the thing about lawyers--and I'm not one--they have to get it right. Yours got it wrong when on November 17th He inaccurately put words in the BCC Chairman's mouth that were simply not true at all--and sent that email to Bill Eddins. Did the SAO know whom, from the email, Gerry was referring? Was SAO supposed to divine to whom the email referred like Carmack the Magnificent holding an envelope next to his head? Or was this simply a sloppy mistake? Whatever the case you all should give Doug a full-throated apology. But that's why lawyers have to get it right, Eric. And to that point, you conveniently glossed over what was the most important point in my Post: Our team of lawyer(s) vetted this meeting thoroughly--going so far as to call the SAO's office to speak with a prosecutor before the meeting occurred--- to ensure there were no issues. They were not sloppy, they got it right. Your lawyer knows, or should have known, that this meeting had been blessed six ways from Sunday before we had it. Apparently, none of you did know this though. So now let's talk about efficiency. You are being inefficient here Eric. You are a Florida Certified Law Enforcement Officer and so here's what you know: if you believe a crime has been committed (and apparently you do judging from your vituperative objection to our legitimate shade meeting), and if you have probable cause that leads you to believe that a crime has been committed--you do not need to wait, Eric. You do not need to send an email a month after the fact to the SAO. You can draft a warrant to arrest all five (5) of us and take that warrant to a judge and see what happens; see if you would find ANY judge that, based upon this fact pattern, would countenance this ridiculous rubbish claim you are making. Good luck with that.