Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Heaven and Earth

Getting any public official or authority, including those charged with insuring the integrity and ethics of those in public service, is like moving heaven and earth. Fortunately, I didn't have to go to that extreme. Instead, I petition Governor Jeb Bush. I've pasted in below a copy of my petition. I've networked with numerous whistleblowers, former government agents and operatives, journalists, and other "enemies of the state." What I detail in my petition is not unique, but rather typical as though the conspirators follow the same textbook.


Dear Governor Bush;

I am respectfully requesting that your office investigate criminal misconduct, including illegal interception of wire, oral, and electronic communications by the Florida Depart-ment of Law Enforcement and the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department. A recent check revealed that there are no records of any warrants on file with the Office of the Florida Attorney General for any surveillance or tracking devices. In addition, I’m charging former FDLE Director of Executive Investigations Jamie McLaughlin, Professionalism Program Director Rod Caswell, HC Sheriff Dennis Lee, HC Deputy Christopher Wells, and former HC Chief Deputy Aubrey Carroll with violations of the moral character standards as defined under Rule 11B-27.0011, F. A. C.. They either knew about or were involved in the illegal interception of wire, oral, and electronic communications, misuse of official position, threatening witnesses, conducting so called “investigations” under the color of law, covering up official misconduct, falsifying official records, and obstruction of justice. In addition, the FDLE “cut a deal” with drug dealers in exchange for their silence regarding criminal acts described in this petition. This pattern of criminal miscon-duct, which continues to this day, violates the most basic principles of the US and Florida Constitutions, including simply “to be let alone,” and demonstrates the abuse of power by arrogant and seemingly unaccountable Florida law enforcement officers. Both these Flo-rida law enforcement agencies have proven that they are incapable of policing them-selves. Both have an inherent conflict of interest and both not only refuse to investigate my criminal charges but also are in fact covering up their criminal activity.

County and state law enforcement illegally arranged for the bugs’ installation on the utility poles servicing the house and grounds. Officers also arranged for the illegal instal-lation of a remotely activated transponder in one of the vehicles and supplied my neigh-bors with a remote to activate the device whenever they saw me leave. By letter, dated January 4, 2001, I requested that West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) Associa-tion’s V.P. and CEO, William S. Rimes, help in identifying any authorized or unauthor-ized listening devices on or connected to any of their lines, poles, transformers, or equipment servicing my residence. By letter, dated January 5, 2001, Mr. Rimes advised me that he took my charges seriously and forwarded my letter to HC Sheriff Dennis Lee for action.

The Sheriff’s first contact was on the evening of January 17, 2001 about 10:30 p.m. when he hovered over the house for more than ½ hr in an FDLE helicopter purportedly search-ing for my neighbor, Freddie Padgett, who they attempted to pickup at his home that evening. In addition to a powerful searchlight, a large infrared device mounted under the helicopter assisted in their late night “search.” Earlier in the day, an FDLE Agent disguised as a FedEx driver delivered a 3.5 lb. package of meth to his wife, Lisa Padgett, during a drug bust. Padgett arrived home as the sting was in progress, saw what was going on, grabbed the package that his wife signed for, and escaped with the evidence. The FDLE returned later that evening on the pretext of apprehending him at his home. However, they knew that he hadn’t returned home. No rational person would believe that someone who ran off with 3.5 lbs of drugs earlier that day would return home later that evening. I was the actual target and not my neighbor. The entire event was contrived in an attempt to provoke a violent incident and then remove their bugs in the aftermath. When I didn’t react as my “profilers” anticipated, the Sheriff who was in the FDLE helicopter piloted by his first cousin ordered the agents to storm the grounds in hot pursuit of my imaginary fleeing neighbor. I asked the FDLE Agents as they stormed the grounds, “Isn’t this a lot of effort for one guy?” One Agent replied, “Yeah, it is.” I lingered outside with them until they left around 11:35 p.m.

The FDLE arrested my neighbor, Lisa Padgett, on drug and theft charges on January17, 2001 and later arrested Freddie Padgett on January 23, 2001 on the same charges. They subsequently arrested her on additional drug-related charges. We somehow, however, became suspects in this “missing” drug drama. On the evening of January 29, 2001, my sister, Bridget Keegan, told me that two late model sedans followed her from nearby Carmel Church Road when she left for work that morning. She said that a third sedan was waiting on the side of the road as she turned onto Rte.160 and also followed her. I checked the next morning and observed the stakeout and “tail” that she told me about. I notified a public official that morning that I don’t want some SWAT raid picking up where the helicopter left off. The FDLE stakeout and “tail” ended the next day.

My sister hired Florida licensed Private Investigator, Diop Kamau to conduct a “sweep” of her home and property, locate the monitoring station, activate any deactivated bugs, and identify the origin of any devices discovered. On March 14, 2001, Kamau’s employee, Mr. Underwood, arrived late for the scheduled “sweep” and with no testing equipment. He walked around the house and inspected the utility pole in the backyard. As he left, he said, “It’s time for the cameras.” On March 23, 2001, Mr. Kamau’s employee, Doug Jones, showed up with test equipment and was surprised by the off the scale readings, which verified electronic surveillance. However, he refused my sister’s request for his report and when I asked him for it, he said that the police would arrest me if he supplied it. Jones called my sister later at work to discuss installing cameras to film anyone trying to remove the illegal surveillance devices. She told him no cameras and to supply the report. When she later demanded her report from Kamau, he told her to get a lawyer and he would provide it to him, although that was not part of the original agreement. He also told her that he would fax her a list of lawyers at work, but never did.

By letter dated, March 26, 2001, I notified WFEC VP and CEO, William S. Rimes, that the Sheriff still hadn’t contacted either my sister or myself regarding the electronic surveillance. I requested that he arrange for his WFEC to check their equipment during the week of April 2nd and to supply a report of their findings.

On Tuesday morning, April 3, 2001, I observed two WFEC trucks parked at the front gate and one employee trying to pick the lock. I went over and asked the one who appeared to be in charge if he’s here to remove the bugs. He mistook me for an out of state utility worker and replied that he was here to remove the bugs. He identified himself as Doyle Short. The other three refused to identify themselves. I told him that he can’t come in and to return when my sister was home, which upset him. Short threatened to call the Sheriff if I didn’t let him enter. I told him to go ahead. He did. He dialed a number on his cell phone and I heard him say, “Dispatcher.” When the deputy arrived, Short told the deputy that he’s here to change the lights on “their property (the utility poles)” and that I won’t let him in. He changed that story when he remembered that we don’t have any pole lights and said that he’s here to read the meter, then qualified that reason by saying to verify meter readings because the radio remote meters are too far and they can’t read them. When I said that he did that last month, he then said that he’s here to do a “safety inspection” and waved some piece of paper saying, “they requested it.” I told the deputy that I wrote that letter and requested an inspection for any illegal attachments and insisted on advance notice. I told Short to show the deputy the letter. He didn’t, but that ended the letter argument.

I learned later that Short had called my sister at her office in Panama City, told her that he was at the gate, and requested her permission to enter and inspect. She told him no, that she wanted to be present, and that she can’t talk any longer because she has a meeting. He then told her that he saw someone approaching (me) and hung up. He didn’t tell Deputy Wells that he had called my sister. Wells asked for my name and DOB. I answered his questions because I was afraid that he’d arrest me if I didn’t. The deputy then asked Short if he wanted to enter the property. I suggested that Short reschedule the inspection. Deputy Wells asked if that’s okay and Short agreed. The deputy then called in on a cell phone- not his squad car radio- and asked for Aubrey Carroll. I asked Wells, “Is that Holmes County Investigator Aubrey Carroll?” He replied, “Yes sir, it is.”

I first petitioned you shortly after this incident to investigate my charges regarding illegal electronic surveillance and the helicopter incident. In my April 12, 2001 petition, I described two false reports that my neighbors, Matthew and Janice (nee Padgett) Connor, filed against me with the Sheriff’s Department. I was concerned that they might try to either implicate me in their relatives’ drug dealing to use as a “bargaining chip” or else say that I had the missing drugs, which would serve as a pretext for yet another investi-gation or raid. Coincidentally, on April 13, 2001, FDLE Agent Dallas Herring left a message, which consisted only of his name, phone number, and “FDLE,” on my sister’s answering machine at work. Glenn (“Red”) Riley told us that the Sheriff’s Department was using my neighbors and would discard them when they were no longer useful. He later told me that a deputy threatened to place him at the scene of a crime if he should ever talk about any of this.

Your staff forwarded my April 12, 2001 petition to FDLE Executive Investigations for review. In his reply, dated April 26, 2001, former FDLE Executive Investigations Director Jamie A. McLaughlin wrote:

Your letter wherein you complained of electronic surveillance of your home, has been reviewed by this office. We have determined that the subject matter of your allegation does not fall within the purview of FDLE.

There does not appear to be a criminal predicate which would warrant investigation by the Office of Executive Investigations. The subject matter of your complaint may involve judicial or civil issues that necessitate you seeking legal counsel and/or advice. Such issues must be addressed in the courts, not by FDLE.

McLaughlin was covering up. His position that my petition didn’t contain any criminal predicates is nonsense. If illegal electronic surveillance, misuse of official position, threatening witnesses, conducting so called “investigations” under the color of law, falsifying official records, and obstruction of justice by certified law enforcement officers doesn’t constitute a “criminal predicate,” then nothing does.

Following Director McLaughlin’s silly letter, my sister could no longer even contact Kamau and Jones by phone or fax, as they appeared to have disconnected them. She notified Doug Jones on May 29, 2001 that she scheduled an inspection for June 8, 2001 at 1pm and instructed him to arrive early. She also sent Sheriff Dennis Lee a letter, dated May 29, 2001, requesting that the Sheriff’s Department search the utility poles and lines for any illegal listening devices and to supply a report, and she scheduled him for the same time. Jones canceled shortly before the scheduled day claiming that he has to go to Louisiana on a case. If memory serves, the Sheriff supposedly went on vacation and was also unavailable. A Tim Brown from the Sheriff’s Department left a message June 7, 2001 on her answering machine at work for her to deal with WFEC and not them. My sister canceled the inspection by WFEC since the other two parties were unavailable.

A few days after my sister sent a certified letter, dated June 18, 2001, demanding that Kamau either complete the sweep and supply his report or else refund her money, Doug Jones called her at work. He told her the illegal bugs were on the pole, instructed her to schedule an appointment with the utility for “safety reasons” so that the utility couldn’t go after us for tampering with their property, and suggested that she get an injunction against the police. My sister eventually scheduled an inspection by WFEC for July 27, 2002, notified the Sheriff and requested his presence, and notified both Kamau and Jones.

In the interim, the Sheriff finally responded to one of my Public Record Requests, but he only provided a copy of Deputy Wells’ 4-3-01 Incident Report, case #2001041393, Report #9842. Wells’ narrative read:


In my letter to Sheriff Lee, dated June 9, 2001, I accused Deputy Wells of lying and submitting a false report to cover up law enforcement’s involvement and requested an internal review by his Department. In his June 28, 2001 letter, Sheriff Lee wrote:

I have talked with Deputy Wells about the report and have learned that Deputy Wells wrote his report after the incident had occurred and he did a summary of all the information he had gathered. Deputy Wells would have no reason to lie in his report and I have no reason to believe that Deputy Wells would lie about your or anything else. I would also like for you to know that we would love to have electronic surveillance equipment like you were talking about. But, we do not own any or have access to any such equipment. We are a small rural department with a very limited budget. Our primary responsibility is responding to the needs of the people in Holmes County. Unless there is something I do not know about you that you would like to share with me, I have no reason or desire to set up any kind of surveillance on you. Your correspondence has been filed.

In my June 30, 2001 reply, I wrote the Sheriff that other than what I stated in my June 9th letter, I didn’t talk any further about electronic surveillance equipment. Either the Sheriff or his former Chief Deputy helped concoct that story for the rookie deputy. I also requested copies of the two earlier Deputy Incident Reports resulting from my neighbors calling “The Law” on me. I tape-recorded one of incidents with the deputies’ permission and photographed the other. Sheriff Lee did not supply the reports because they would serve to discredit any other false charges by my neighbors, which apparently served as a pretext to investigate either one or both of us.

Deputy Wells listed Doyle Short’s work phone number in his report as 263-3231. I believe that was Mr. Short’s mobile phone number. If that’s the correct number of the cell phone that he had with him that day, then a check of the phone records would reveal that Short called my sister at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, FL, contradicting what Wells wrote in his report.

The bugs were not just on the poles on my sister’s property, however, but on the ones in my surrounding neighbors’ yards as well. On July 17, 2001, I videotaped two WFEC employees working on a utility pole in the Connors’ front yard. I filmed Bowers (sp?) in the truck’s lift basket removing the ceramic fuse mounted on the pole. There was no other equipment on the pole at this time. Once he removed it, he lowered the basket to ground level and handed the fuse to Gillie (sp?). Gillie opened it, stopped what he was doing, and approached me. He agreed to be videotaped. Gillie said that they were installing a lightening resistor, but did not answer my questions regarding the fuse that Bowers removed and handed to him.

Bowers first removed what he later identified as a fuse from the utility pole, handed it to Gillie who worked on it and then returned it to Bowers along with what Bowers identi-fied as a lightning arrester. Bowers then installed a bracket and mounted both devices on it and made the necessary connections. When he finished, he lowered the basket, approached me, and consented to be videotaped. When I asked Bowers what he removed from the hollow fuse, he replied, “a broken bolt.” He also said that they’re installing the lightening arrester to prevent any problems resulting from a tree limb falling on the line even though there are no trees in the area around the pole and there were fuses and lightening arresters already mounted on both transformers on my sister’s property.

Bowers wanted to cover for his employer. He volunteered that he was out here when lightening knocked a tree branch down dislodging the live wire to the transformer at the house, but that he didn’t come back to the house, which would contradict what I wrote in my letter, dated 1-4-01, to WFEC CEO & VP Rimes:

The first incident, which suggested that some WFEC employees might know something about this matter, occurred about 1:30 am one Sunday morning. A WFEC pickup zoomed up by the side of the house and two men got out. They had cut the chain on the front locked gate to gain access and drove the ¼ mile back to the house. The previous evening a lightning bolt knocked off a tree limb that dislodged the line to the transformer, knocking out power to the house. Since it was then early Saturday evening, I figured that I call the next morning. I asked them how'd they know power was out? They said that they were in the neighborhood, so stopped by to fix it. I asked again, “How'd you know the power was out?” The driver asked me, “Why didn't you call?” I replied that that I intended to call in the morning. They repeatedly refused to answer my question.

Bower’s actions are indicative of an attempted cover up. The tree limb falling knocked out power only to my residence whose lights could not be seen from the road or my neighbors. I wanted to know who called WFEC and instructed them to come out and repair the problem, since whoever did was either the one monitoring us in real time or knew who was. When those monitoring us realized that they could no longer hear us, they called or had someone call the utility to investigate. The two WFEC employees cut the chain on the locked front gate to access the property around 1:30 am and installed one of their own locks on the chain.

WFEC showed as scheduled on July 27, 2001, but not Kamau or Jones. The WFEC employees present, including Short, agreed to be videotaped. Short’s superior made a point to say that Bowers who I videotaped on July 17th working on my neighbors pole was not out here the night the tree limb knocked out power to the house. They completed their “safety inspection” and found no “safety hazards.” They did not search for any illegal listening devices. Jones showed up later. He denied that either he or Kamau said that I would be arrested or that the bug was on the pole. He detected another bug on the northeast side of the house, but said that he could not pinpoint it. He refused to try to activate the remote transponder in the minivan, which they said that they could do. He again refused to supply his report. Incidentally, although Kamau represented himself as a licensed and expert witness, I learned later that he only received his Florida Private Investigator's license the month before in June 2001. In my opinion, the timing raises some disturbing and troubling questions. Jones also said that he was working under Kamau’s license.

Lisa Padgett’s arrest, pending trial, and the missing drugs had been big news in the local papers from the time of her first arrest on January 17, 2001. However, interest intensified when the HOLMES COUNTY ADVERTISER February 20, 2002 headlines read: FDLE MADE NO FORMAL INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING METHAM-PHETAMINES. Journalist Bill Pate asked in his article why the FDLE had not investigated their disappearance. People wanted to know then and still want to know now what happened to the missing drugs and why the FDLE refused to formally investigate.

I contacted Bill Pate on March 5, 2002 and answered his question. The FDLE didn’t formally investigate the “missing” drugs because the FDLE would have to explain why Sheriff Lee hovered over my residence in an FDLE helicopter piloted by his cousin for over ½ hour on the evening of Jan. 17th and left as FDLE agents stormed the grounds. The FDLE is covering up official misconduct involving the FDLE, Sheriff’s Dept, and the Sheriff, and don’t want a fully developed record, which would have to address my charges. As a result of Pate’s investigation, they forced the Chief Deputy to retire early for his role, but he was just the patsy.

Later on or around March 20 or 21, 2002, Lisa Padgett drove her All Terrain Vehicle from her home to where I was working on fence along the southern property line. This was the first time that I ever spoke to her since moving here. She talked about her upcoming trial and apologized for the helicopter incident because she worried what kind of people we thought they were. She said that she knew that the entire area was bugged.

The HOLMES COUNTY TIMES reported in its April 24, 2002 edition:

On Thursday, April 4, a retirement party was held for Aubrey Carroll, who spent nearly 15 years with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department.
Everyone from State Attorney Jim Appleman to Carroll’s grandchildren attended the event, kicked off by Kim Durden singing the national anthem.

Following the above announcement, Lisa Padgett, as well as others, shook my hand and congratulated me for getting Carroll “fired.” I corrected her by saying that they forced him to retire early so that he would keep his pension (strikingly similar to McLaughlin’s sudden and unexpected resignation). Lisa Padgett also told me that the reporter, Bill Pate, questioned her about me after I contacted him and he kept asking her, “What did he do?” because he could not believe that the cops would do what they were doing without some reason. Lisa Padgett told me that she kept repeating, “Nothing.” “He didn’t do anything.” She later told me that her husband was ashamed for what his family said about me, but did not elaborate. She said that one of the FDLE Agents compared them to Norriega and that some FDLE Agents tested positive for drugs. She said that the DEA did not want to become involved in this high profile case because the FDLE screwed it up. Later she confided that the FDLE offered her a “deal” if she’d implicate Sheriff Dennis Lee in their drug dealing, but she declined that offer. Shortly afterwards she stopped talking to me. I suspect on law enforcement’s orders. They subsequently offered her another deal, which she couldn’t refuse.

My sister eventually got a lawyer to help secure Kamau’s report, but Kamau’s lawyer refused to hand over his client’s report to my sister’s lawyer. Following any “sweep,” the electronic surveillance expert provides the client with a signed written report of his findings. They either discovered bugs or they didn’t. It’s that simple. Her lawyer then instructed her to copy the next expert’s web page, listing equipment used and report provided, to leave no possible questions regarding the scope of the sweep and report of its findings. On her lawyer’s instructions, my sister then hired her second electronic surveillance expert, Florida licensed PI Jim Toth, and she explained law enforcement’s role to him. Toth said that he would be happy to help with any legal or illegal intercept problem. He agreed to do the sweep and supply a written, signed report. However, when he arrived here in to do the sweep on April 15, 2002, he said that he cannot talk about any FDLE or any other law enforcement electronic surveillance devices or he will loose his license. He tested for video as agreed and said that he picked up some signal and that there is a camera nearby, but he could not pick up a clear image. Toth repeatedly refused to check the pole although that is what he came here to do and said that he would have to climb up it and plug his equipment (an OSCOR) into it and that he does not intend to do that.

When we drove up front, I repeatedly asked him why he didn’t bring equipment to test poles because that’s what my sister hired him to do. I bothered him enough that at one point he said that “you’re pissing me off.” I asked him if he wanted me turn off my camcorder and he said no. He had also agreed earlier to being videotaped. On the drive back to the house, he pointed to about 300’ of bright yellow hose along the driveway used to water the plants indicated that was “probable cause.” When I asked Toth if the FDLE would not allow these charges to be proven, he nodded in the affirmative. When I asked him if the police intend to “debrief” him when he leaves, he said, “Possibly.” He also insisted that the police put a GPS device in the minivan and not a police transponder as I suspected.

Toth also said that the police have a warrant and have to tell us about the bugs in thirty days. Toth had a conscience and what the FDLE was forcing him to do troubled him. He said that if he lost his license as illegally threatened that he would have to do menial labor. Before he left, he said that the bugs on the poles came from Audio Intelligence Devices. That company ( sells only to government and law enforce-ment. AID also has a training branch, the National Intelligence Academy. Toth still has not supplied a signed written report of his findings.

My sister hired a third electronic surveillance expert, Jim Ross, but this time from out of state. Ross appeared as scheduled on July 19, 2002. He said that he had been out the night before to check. The echo was quite pronounced that evening. He had a word of wisdom that he wanted to share with us before he began: “Don’t trust hotels.” I thought, uh-uh, here we go again. His story was that he rented hotel space for his expos and the last one billed him 7k for services they didn’t provide. He was still upset. He walked around the house and insisted that any echo that I heard was from my voice bouncing off the house and not from the open air. When we went inside, he played with his equipment and then stunned me by saying that he can’t do what we want him to do. He didn’t say that he didn’t detect any bugs at the time or the evening before, but only that he can’t do what we want him to do, which was sweep and supply a report of his findings. He also confided, “They want to be in charge.”

Instead of doing a sweep and supplying a signed written report, he offered to get my sister on the G. Gordon Liddy show to discuss her blacklisting. Liddy and he are friends. He didn’t disclose this obvious conflict of interest. He also said that she would have to move. My sister declined. They want us both to move because some locals are black-mailing law enforcement with their knowledge of what I’ve described here and the cops cut deals with others, which may explain why so many of Sheriff Department’s drug arrests were either thrown out or else failed to result in convictions. Ross also told my sister to have her lawyer sue Toth, who was the apparent fall guy. The problem was that her lawyer who instructed her to hire a new expert later refused to sue Toth. I have suspicions that FDLE officials threatened him.

I didn’t tell Ross that I knew that the G. Gordon Liddy was affiliated with AID’s training branch, the National Intelligence Academy. I suggested that I go on the “G-Man’s” show, instead. Ross wanted more money and said that he couldn’t guarantee that I’d get on Liddy’s show. I told him to forget it. Like the two before him, he still hasn’t supplied a signed written report.

The above clearly proves a criminal pattern of threatening and tampering with witnesses to cover up official misconduct and meets any burden of proof to warrant an investigation of my charges. In my opinion, if the FDLE truly wanted to resolve this they would stop threatening the lawyers and witnesses. For that matter, they and/or their stooges would stop threatening and stalking us. I take these threats very seriously.

Around 8:30 a.m. on August 15, 2002, I observed two WFEC trucks working on the poles in my neighbors’ yards. As I watched them, a WFEC pickup drove up, stopped, and Doyle Short- the WFEC employee that called the Sheriff on the April 3, 2001 incident- got out and told me that he wants to talk to me by the front gate. When I reached the gate, Mr. Short and his boss, Russell Dunaway, were waiting. They both consented to be videotaped. They said that they were upgrading service and would have to replace the two transformers on the property within a month or else disconnect power. I asked Mr. Dunaway if he knew anything about any illegal electronic surveillance devices on their poles. He said that he had no knowledge and that they’re not in the electronic surveillance equipment business. My questioning appeared to irritate Mr. Dunaway as he turned beet red (visible in the video). He then added that I put the device on the pole myself.

My sister notified her lawyer on August 16, 2002 about Ross and requested he contact him to get a copy of his report. Her lawyer contacted him and Ross later emailed my sister a copy of what he sent to her lawyer telling him about his offer to get her on
G. Gordon Liddy’s show. Ross never supplied a signed report. A decided chill in the attorney client relationship ensued at this point. Her lawyer never replied to her request to get an injunction to block any utility upgrade until after an official state investigation.

After I wrote former AG Butterworth and FDLE Commissioner Moore requesting an investigation, my sister told me that two Colonels and a Master Sergeant at Tyndall AFB where she works as an engineer told her, when they could stop laughing long enough, that the cops said that she was a “pothead.” That was the pretext they gave for going to her workplace. Again, although the FDLE went to her employer, why did no one question her? The FDLE certainly had no trouble slandering her by innuendo. I can’t help but wonder, is this the reason why she’s only a GS 11 even though she has a Ph.D. and PE? She was a GS 13 with only an MS and EIT, but that was before moving to Florida. The FDLE even attempted to interfere with her Florida PE license. If they have the time for this kind of crap, they’re not as over-worked as they claim.

Please realize that all through this on going hell, no law enforcement officer ever once questioned either one of us, despite our repeated requests for them to do so. Instead, they attempted to first defame us and then discredit our charges by innuendo and slander masquerading as investigations, which might help explain why utility employees kept threatening to call the Sheriff on me and have me arrested. We both repeatedly tried to get Sheriff Dennis Lee, the FDLE, WFEC, and the Florida electronic surveillance expert witnesses together to conduct a simultaneous search, but without any success.

The judge hearing Lisa Padgett’s case tossed out some evidence and rescheduled the trial for June 2002 because the FDLE did not supply her lawyer with some statements that she made. That was about the last coverage of the case. Any further coverage of the case destined to be the story of the year stopped.

In reply to my August 21, 2002 letter charging FDLE involvement with electronic surveillance, Director McLaughlin wrote in his September 11, 2002 letter:

Your past five letters/facsimiles to this office (April 12, 2001, May 3, 2001, May 4, 2001, August 30, 2001, and October 9, 2001) were also reviewed and indicate that you have continual concerns with electronic surveillance. Based on these concerns, it is suggested that you allow the utility to upgrade the transformers and insulators on your property as they deem necessary. In do doing, the West Florida Electric Co-operative will maintain your electric service using only the equipment necessary for that purpose.

Simply put: former Director McLaughlin sanctioned the cover up and obstructed justice by doing so.

On Oct. 28th my sister received a letter from Director McLaughlin in response to her petition in which she charged that Florida law enforcement officers tampered with two Florida electronic surveillance experts that she hired to sweep her home and property. McLaughlin wrote that he would not investigate because there did not appear to be a criminal predicate. Coincidentally, the electric cooperative also notified my sister that same day that they would be out on Oct. 31st to either replace their two transformers on her property as part of an upgrade or else disconnect service. She faxed the utility’s CEO, with courtesy copies to their lawyer and two foremen that they would be only allowed onto her property on the condition that they conduct a search for illegal law enforcement surveillance devices before upgrading their equipment. She also notified Sheriff Dennis Lee. She attempted to contact her lawyer, but her email was rejected. She left messages for him on his answering machine and faxed him as well, but he did not reply.

On the morning of October 31, 2002, WFEC foreman Ty Peel from their Graceville office arrived before the others to “upgrade” services by replacing the two transformers, containing the illegal surveillance devices, with new ones. He agreed to allow us to videotape. Foreman Doyle Short and crews from the Bonifay and Graceville offices arrived shortly afterwards along with WFEC CEO & VP Bill Rimes, who oversaw the work from the road. Rimes became visibly upset when I recognized him and videotaped him. My sister let them in after they again agreed to conduct a search, but once in they refused to search as agreed or even open the lightening arresters. Moreover, they insisted that the lightening arrester was solid and could not be opened, which was a lie. Although they agreed to inspect their equipment for illegal bugs before being allowed onto the property, I videotaped them refusing to do so once admitted and threatening to call the Sheriff and have me arrested if I searched their equipment myself. I asked Peel if he intended to reuse this transformer with the implication for surveillance purposes, and he replied that he had just the place for it. They replaced the existing transformers with new ones and left. The echo effect vanished.

You would think that removing the evidence on the utility poles with the blessings and protection of former Executive Investigations Director’s would end it, but it did not. It wasn’t too long before the echo returned. At first it was barely noticeable, but eventually it became even more pronounced than before. Someone had pre-installed remotely activated surveillance devices in the new transformers. And as before, stooges began repeating our private conversations. If they were acting in good faith, they would not have done that. It’s now more pronounced than before. Neighbors have confirmed that they did replace the old bugs with new ones.

On the morning of April 25, 2003I, I ran into Glenn (“Red”) Riley at the front gate as I was leaving. Red said that there was a surveillance device on the pole up front. I know that there is one, including video, on the pole in the back. He said that the state cut a deal with my drug-dealing neighbors. I suspect that the state dropped its charges in exchange for their silence on the illegal electronic surveillance and the January 17, 2001 helicopter incident. I also noticed that the state returned Freddie and Lisa Padgett’s Blazer. I had not seen it since the state seized it when they arrested her and found drugs, photos, and an ammo box with $17k in it. I figured the state returned it as a part of their deal. He also said out of the blue that he never saw me climb over the two fences, which separate the properties, to talk to them. The last time that I set foot on Lisa (Padgett) Connor’s property was years earlier when I told her to move some scrap metal that they tried to bury on my sister’s property.

By letter, dated February 2, 2004, I wrote the FDLE Criminal Justice Professionalism Program’s Professional Compliance Section and charged Director of Executive Investigations Jamie McLaughlin, Holmes County Sheriff Dennis Lee, Holmes County Deputy Christopher Wells, and former Holmes County Chief Deputy Aubrey Carroll them with the above violations. By letter, dated February 20, 2004, Professionalism Program Director Rod Caswell acknowledged my verifiable complaint and in his reply wrote:

The text of your letter does not articulate any violations that the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission would have jurisdiction over. We suggest that you speak with the Holmes County Sheriff regarding this complaint.

Director Caswell is covering up. I suspect that he was just following McLaughlin’s example and his “suggestion” was nothing more than an attempt to deflect and redirect attention away from FDLE’s involvement, especially with the deal FDLE cut with neighbors in exchange for their silence. It’s a typical reaction whenever an agency has such a blatant conflict of interest, but it’s the wrong thing to do. Director Caswell had the opportunity to do the right thing, but he didn’t. My complaint contained violations that the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission would have jurisdiction over, and certainly Executive Investigations. Director Caswell’s suggestion that I speak to Sheriff Lee is ludicrous. Both my sister and myself tried to speak to and get the Sheriff as well as the FDLE to come here for quite some time. The fact that this is now being proposed raises some disturbing and troubling questions. Under the circumstances, no reasonably minded person would talk with Sheriff Lee nor would any rational person expect someone to do so considering the following: 1. The Jan. 17, 2001 helicopter incident was a thinly disguised pretext to provoke a deadly confrontation, 2. The FDLE offered my neighbor, Lisa Padget, a deal if she’d implicate the Sheriff in her drug dealing, 3. When she didn’t accept the first deal, the FDLE offered her another one, which involved her knowledge of our illegal electronic surveillance and the Jan. 17, 2001 late night helicopter incident, and she accepted it, 4. The 3.5 pounds of meth that the FDLE lost during my neighbor’s bust are still “missing” and the Sheriff and FDLE never officially investigated their disappearance, and, 5. Finally, let’s not forget that they installed illegal surveillance devices and then protected by the Sheriff and FDLE they removed the bugs and reinstalled next generation devices. Furthermore, another example of this Sheriff’s duplicity is how he cleverly and evasively answers the question why he did not get an honorable discharge from the service by replying that he didn’t get a dishonorable one. There are other considerations as well, but that’s enough for the average person to question the motive behind Director Caswell’s suggestion and former Director Jamie McLaughlin’s refusal to investigate my criminal charges.

By letter, dated Feb. 3, 2004, I wrote Braulio L. Baez, Chairman of the FL Public Service Commission, and notified him of the illegal electronic surveillance and asked for the FL FL Public Service Commission, and notified him of the illegal electronic surveillance and asked for the FL PSC’s help. Beverlee S. DeMello, Director Division Consumer Affairs replied on behalf of the Chairman and Commissioners. In her letter, dated Feb. 13, 2004, Director DeMello wrote:

…Electric cooperatives do not fall under the authority of the PSC, except for the limited areas of rate structure and safety.

Federal law prohibits interceptions of telephone communications unless the person intercepting the call has received prior consent from one of the parties. Under Florida Statutes, both parties to the communication must agree to the interception. Violation of either Federal law or Florida statues may result in fine, imprisonment, or both. The Florida Public Service Commission has no authority to enforce criminal law.

The matter you have outlined does not come under the jurisdiction of the PSC. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your correspondence to the Governor’s Office of Citizen Services for review.

How is it that the Director of the FL PSC’s Division Consumer Affairs can recognize criminal violations while FDLE officials can’t? Perhaps Director Caswell should spend some time at PSC to receive the necessary training in common sense? Or, perhaps, the FDLE gets to pick and choose the criminal violations of certified law enforcement officers that it investigates, ignoring the embarrassing ones?

I’m requesting that your office investigate my criminal charges above, which abound with criminal predicates, because those public officials charged with the legal responsibility refuse to do so because of an inherent conflict of interest. I’d appreciate your help in resolving this criminal misconduct and abuse of authority. Thank you.


Joe Keegan
Bonifay, FL