Saturday, May 10, 2008

Linda Cobbe, Public Affairs Office HCSB:

Linda, this is a reminder that I want the dollar amount that Tom Gonzalez’s firm charged taxpayers for conducting the Erwin trial and appeal (I believe there was one).

I still await Ms. Bricklemeyer’s address and I want to add Mr. Joe Newsome’s. lee

May 10, 2008

Dear Mr. Erwin:

I wrote you a couple of years ago when I was a columnist for La Gaceta. I asked that you let me do a column on your post-retirement status and how you looked back on the experience of your ordeal in the school employ of the Hillsborough County School Board.

I didn't hear from you.

I have since been able to get access to the Erwin files after I filed a Florida-bar-ethics charge against Tom Gonzalez. I spent quite a few hours covering the three thick notebooks and two boxes that explore the case.

My favorite excerpt was when you began to fight back and took the reporters up on the roofs to see how bad the construction of the new buildings was: construction for which the school board had allowed the taxpayers to pay top dollar but the quality of which was shoddy. I said, "Hooray! Mr. Erwin is fighting back at last."

The only thing the school board and administration responds to is the press's attention. Then they scramble, as the board and administration did, to set up study groups to review the problems you had pointed out to Davis, Hamilton, and Lennard for years. They were perfectly content to see McClelland, his nephew, and Roosevelt, et al rob taxpayers, overlook workers' keeping no time sheets, and the contractors' using shoddy materials and methods for new schools but getting paid top dollar for them with the board's and administration's collusion.

I can't help believing that the last two situations had connection with graft both for the administration and the board.

The Public Affairs office told me nobody got punished except a couple of people were reprimanded and one fired. McCllenland is apparently rich on his new spread in the next county thanks to the taxpayers and an indifferent administration and board.

So the hustle of the board and the administration after the press caught on to the situation was what the board and press usually does: spin politics.

Mr. Davis managed to save his job despite one of the most disingenuous depositions I have ever read. He couldn't recall anything that happened fifteen minutes beforehand. He is not head of technology. Mr. Hamilton escaped responsibility too. In fact, when he was in a dither about retirement and couldn['t make up his mind. Ms. Elia created a boutique job for him, and the board passed it on the consent conveyor belt.

Three board members who slept through your ordeal are still on the board: Carol Kurdell, Jack Lamb, and Candy Olson. They are still rubber stamps for the superintendent, do not visit the employees as Rampello and Newsome did, and are indifferent to their jobs as guardians of the voters' investment in the schools.

After review of the files, I have been retelling the Erwin story on my blog Visit the site and recall old times in the school-board badlands of crime and no punishment, which you have happily escaped after winning your whistleblower case. You can comment anonymously. Please do.

lee drury de cesare

Jones Act Lawyers

Babylon English-English
n. end, conclusion; act of closing; enclosed area; plug
v. shut; be shut; finish, complete
adv. nearby, close by; closely
adj. near, adjacent; intimate; careful; oppressive; secretive; stingy; dense, compact; tight-fitting; crowded
close but no cigar
nice try but no cigar, good and close but not correct; almost but not entirely successful; good but incorrect guess
Wikipedia English - The Free Encycl...
Close may refer to:
In music:

People with the surname Close:

See more at

The claustrum is a thin layer of grey matter lying between the extreme capsule and external capsule in the brain. Its function is not completely known, although it has reciprocal connections with the cerebral cortex.

Francis Crick, a neuroscientist keen on studying the neural correlate of consciousness, pointed to the claustrum as one of the most probable key components of consciousness in his last works [1].

See more at

Babylon French-English
v. end; close; complete
adj. closed, shut; field
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictio...
(v. t.)
Adhering strictly to a standard or original; exact; strict; as, a close translation.

(v. t.)
Accurate; careful; precise; also, attentive; undeviating; strict; not wandering; as, a close observer.

(v. t.)
A narrow passage leading from a street to a court, and the houses within.

(v. i.)
To grapple; to engage in hand-to-hand fight.

(v. i.)
To end, terminate, or come to a period; as, the debate closed at six o'clock.

(v. i.)
To come together; to unite or coalesce, as the parts of a wound, or parts separated.

To stop, or fill up, as an opening; to shut; as, to close the eyes; to close a door.

To come or gather around; to inclose; to encompass; to confine.

To bring together the parts of; to consolidate; as, to close the ranks of an army; -- often used with up.

To bring to an end or period; to conclude; to complete; to finish; to end; to consummate; as, to close a bargain; to close a course of instruction.

The manner of shutting; the union of parts; junction.

The conclusion of a strain of music; cadence.

Conclusion; cessation; ending; end.

A grapple in wrestling.

A double bar marking the end.

Secretly; darkly.

In a close manner.

(v. t.)
Uttered with a relatively contracted opening of the mouth, as certain sounds of e and o in French, Italian, and German; -- opposed to open.

(v. t.)
The interest which one may have in a piece of ground, even though it is not inclosed.

(v. t.)
Strictly confined; carefully quarded; as, a close prisoner.

(v. t.)
Shut fast; closed; tight; as, a close box.

(v. t.)
Short; as, to cut grass or hair close.

(v. t.)
Parsimonious; stingy.

(v. t.)
Out of the way observation; secluded; secret; hidden.

(v. t.)
Oppressive; without motion or ventilation; causing a feeling of lassitude; -- said of the air, weather, etc.

(v. t.)
Nearly equal; almost evenly balanced; as, a close vote.

(v. t.)
Narrow; confined; as, a close alley; close quarters.

(v. t.)
Intimate; familiar; confidential.

(v. t.)
Having the parts near each other; dense; solid; compact; as applied to bodies; viscous; tenacious; not volatile, as applied to liquids.

(v. t.)
Disposed to keep secrets; secretive; reticent.

(v. t.)
Difficult to obtain; as, money is close.

(v. t.)
Concise; to the point; as, close reasoning.

(v. t.)
An inclosed place; especially, a small field or piece of land surrounded by a wall, hedge, or fence of any kind; -- specifically, the precinct of a cathedral or abbey.

(v. t.)
Adjoining; near; either in space; time, or thought; -- often followed by to.

Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual F...
The period at the end of the trading session. Sometimes used to refer to closing price. Related: Opening .

Monday, May 05, 2008

Case No.: 8-06714
v. Division: J
SCHOOL BOARD OF RILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, EARL LENNARD in his official and individual capacity, LINDA KIPLEY in her official and individual capacity, and
DOE(S) 1-37,

THIS CAUSE came before the Court on the Defendants’ Motion for Extension of Time to respond to the Plaintiff’s Amended Verified Complaint for Damages. Having reviewed the Motion, it is hereby:

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion is GRANTED. The Defendants shall have up to and including Tuesday, May 6, 2008, to respond to the Plaintiff’s Amended Verified Complaint for Damages.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Hillsborough County, Florida on this th day of April, 2008.
Thomas M. Gonzalez, Esq.
Debra Satchel, Pro Se

DEBRA SATCHEL, Plaintiff,Case No.: 8-06714;
Division: SCHOOL BOARD OF COUNTY, EARL LENNARD in his official and individual capacity, LINDA KIPLEY in her official and individual capacity, and James Arnold, the circuit court judge before whom the referenced case is pending.

WILLIAM C. SIZEMORE (1945 - 2004)
(813) 273-0050
FAX NO- (813) 273-0072

Lee Drury DeCesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard
Unit 802
Madeira Beach, Florida 33708

Dear Ms. De Cesare:

It has come to my attention that you have published the following statement:

“Teacher who dared file 14-count conspiracy complaint against County, 2 named and 37 unnamed-Doe defendants has moved for default judgment on all claims.”

“The School Board had 10 days over the usual 20 to answer the complaint. The School Board failed to do so.”

You added to the just quoted assertion the following:
“I think Tom Gonzalez must have missed the deadline for filing response to this case. That will give me another reason to ask for his firing, lee”

Finally, a posting on your blog over the name “David” but identified as having been authored by “Anonymous,” accuses me of having “failed” in my responsibility to respond to the lawsuit.

I enclose herein a copy of the order entered by Judge James Arnold, the circuit court judge before whom the referenced case is pending.

Although I believe the order to be self-explanatory, I note that on April 28, 2008, Judge Arnold allowed the School Board and the individual defendants additional time within which to respond to Ms. Satchel’s complaint. Therefore, neither the School Board nor either of the other defendant -i required to file a response to the suit until Tuesday, May 6, 2008. You could hay ascertained this fact by checking the court file. You obviously chose not to do so. You therefore have published several false and defamatory statements about me. I suggest you correct them.

Very truly yours,Tom Gonzalez

Enclosure: Order Granting Extension of Time

Mr. Gonzalez, sirrah:

My husband picked up another of your Fed-X missives from the post office and asked me who this guy Tom Gonzalez was who sent me Fed-X messages.

“He’s the lawyer to the school board,” quoth I.“He got the job on a good good-ol'-boy protocol 37 years ago and has milked enough money from the tax payers to buy Monaco.

"Mr. Gonzalez is a labor lawyer, which means he screws working people for management. Widows and orphans do not tug at Le Gonzalez's heart strings; fat-cat industrialists, corrupt school administrators, and lazy-as-hogs school-board members do reach his greed synapse because they can pay the legal bill or pass it on to taxpayers.

Le Gonzalez's school-board job involves shafting teachers and low-level staff at Ms. Elia's and the Professional Standard harpy Kipley's behest or any other entity that represents a threat to the sadistic, money-grubbing administration and potted-plant board. He even hinted at suing me for "extortion" one time even when he knew that the SLAPP law would negate that maneuver to shut up a citizen criticizing the school board. He also specializes in boosting no-bid contracts which often seem to go to Elia's or the board's special clients.

Neither is interested in anything but bleeding tax money for their bloated salaries and the community eclat of power; the Erwin case hints broadly of the board's unorthodox relationship with developers."

"Why doesn't Mr. Gonzalez quit the job and retire?” asked my spouse of almost 52 years.

“I wish he would,” I said, “but he hangs on for dear life. I think he means to die glued to that board-attorney perch. I have asked the board to fire him a half dozen times, but its members don’t. That means I will have to keep on asking.”

“What can you do about that board situation?” he asked.

“We Minions of the Light will work to replace the administration-toady-potted plants," I said. "An election is coming up. the Teachers’ Political Task Force will sponsor a candidate debate. So there is reason for cheer. Teachers can come and ask some sharp questions that they can't at board meetings because the board doesn't want them there and makes them feel unwelcome, and Le Gonzalez allows louche treatment of First-Amendment rights of teachers and even citizens who come to address the board. He backs up the chair, Pole Girl Falliera, who is rude to people who come to speak to the board to discourage their doing so. She even made up a new rule to get me kicked out of the meeting once, and Mr. Gonzalez sat like another board potted plant and didn't correct her. The board, Ms. Elia, the bloated-salary administration want to run the schools with no regard for education but for every regard for their compensation, power, and community reputation.”

"And why doesn't he use a regular postal letter?” my old man asked.

“He wants me to ‘correct’ errors and alleged ‘false and defamatory’ statements against him on my blog. He uses Fed-X as intimidation tactic. The obtuse rascal thinks to scare the bejesus out of me with a big, expensive Fed-X cardboard container. The fellow’s a legal bully in my considered opinion. He claims he does not read my blog, but I wager he sleeps with it under his pillow. He seems to know every hiccough on it. My blog is Gonzalez's guilty pleasure. God knows what he did for diversion until I mounted my blog."

“Do you want me to go sit on him?” asked my 235-pound husband.

“No, he’s as big as you are and 30 years younger. You keep forgetting that your pugilistic skills have declined in old age. I don't expect you to get me out of scrapes. I never did.

"I can deal with this character with just my bare brains and a CRT screen."

Having recounted the which domestic conversation to you, Mr. Gonzalez, I turn to my response to your demand that I stay on top of the court calendar and stop saying what I think about you and your career as the school-board legal bully and hit man.

I am not revving up to take the Florida Bar exam just to acquaint myself with the intricacies of court calenders or to use lawyer language in comments about you on my blog. A semester in law school would make me start using such lawyer barbarisms of "hereunto," "pursuant," and "thereupon."

Furthermore, you can't tell me what to think or what to put on my blog about you. You can’t tell the people who write messages to the blog what they can think and say either. This is America, and you are not Mr. Censor Man.

Not for the kid here, you aren't.

I will die saying what I think. Deal with it.

And keep in mind that we hold colloquy in the context of your function as representative of public officials, which comes under the benign shelter of the law. So stop huffing and puffing about what I have to do to please you. I will not do it.

But if you ever discover a way to sue me for exercising my First-Amendment rights outside the SLAPP umbrella, go for it. I will go to jail and wear an orange jumpsuit to be a martyr for the First Amendment. That Granny repines in jail for free speech will enchant my ten grandchildren. I will be a legend in their lives for as long as the darlings live. And you will be the laughing stock of the Florida bar.

Keep up this Fed-X campaign, and I may report you to the bar again—but this time the national one. I will write the president of the US Bar, who has no duty more important than hearing of the didos of the lawyers who adorn this forlorn outback of both culture and law. He or she will come to know through your crude behavior how bad legal deportment is down here in the Bay-Area badlands, where legal thugs feel free to menace aged and helpless grandmothers such as I.

I, as well, may turn you in to the Elder Abuse Council of Health, Education, and Welfare if you don’t watch your p’s and q’s. The federal government may require you to attend granny-bashing seminars. Some federal granny-bashing seminars will do you a world of good.

This will be the fourth time I have requested that you give me the total dollars that your firm pulled out of the Erwin case, which you lost, hallelujah.

Please send those data to Linda Cobbe to send to me. I want to know how much lolly you extracted in the Erwin case as the defendant's lawyer that came out of taxes. You lost the case so should have charged nothing and paid Mr. Erwin's damages to boot.

You should stay out of the court room when a jury decides a case.You are not eloquent, not charming, not pretty: no lawyer absent those qualities triumphs in a jury case.You should cede the role in the Satchel case to another lawyer who does have those jury-friendly qualities.

Lee Drury; De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802;Madeira Beach, FL 33708

11925- 994) 20? N. FRANKLIN STREET. SUITE 1600
11945 . 2004) TAMPA, FLORIDA 33601
LUIS A. CASASSA 1813) 273-0050
Debra Satchel
Post Office Box 2204
Brandon, Florida 33509-2204
Sent by electronic mail to: teacherdinity(
Sent by facsimile to: 813-902-7900
Re: Satchel v. The School Board of Hillsborough County,

Florida Dear Ms. Satchel:

I write again to ask that you cease your publication of false and defamatory statements. In a recent “press release” which you authored, you assert that you have learned of a “mole” who disclosed to me your plans to file a motion for default judgment against the School Board, Earl Lemiard, former superintendent of schools of Flillsborough County, Florida, and Linda Kipley, all of whom are represented by this firm in the referenced lawsuit which you have brought against them and others identified only as “Does.”

You further state that I could not have learned from “public information” of your piaris to file for default because your previous press release was not disseminated by “major media companies.” Ms. Satchel, I read that release in Lee Drury DeCesare’s Casting Couch, to which I was directed by a person who read the piece. I admit that this organ is not in any sense a “major media” company but a local newspaper also received your press release and called the School Board for comment. The Board’s public information office called me. Knowing that you had sent these two outlets a copy of your statement, you could not have had any basis on which to assert that a “mole” provided me with the information.

More importantly, several other statements contained in your latest publication are false, as evidenced by the following. First, you wrote that you allowed the Board ten additional days within which to answer your latest pleading. In fact, you did state on your original summons that the Defendants were to answer within thirty days. However, before that time elapsed, you filed an amended complaint. Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, an amended complaint must be answered within ten days of service (plus five additional days allowed when service of a pleading is made by mail). Therefore, the Defendants did not have the thirty days you claim.

Because you sued multiple defendants, and in order that the responsive pleadings of each could be consolidated into one document, I filed a motion for extension of the time within to

Debra Satchel
May 8, 2008
Page 2
answer. That motion was filed on April 18, 2008, as evidenced by the date stamp affixed to the pleading by the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court’s Office, a copy of which I enclose herein. The motion was filed within the time allowed for a response. It was served on you, so I know you are aware of it. Moreover, before filing the request, my associate tried several times to speak to you by telephone to ascertain your agreement or objection to the extension. On the one occasion my associate spoke to you, you hung up on her.

The motion was considered by the Court and on April 28, 2008, the Court granted the request, as evidenced by the order bearing that date of which I have also enclosed a copy, which bears the date stamp affixed to it by the Court. The Order allowed a response to be filed on or before May 6, 2008. A response, specifically a motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment and motion to strike was in fact timely filed on the last mentioned date. A copy of the first page of that pleading, bearing the Clerk’s date stamp evidencing that filing is also enclosed.

You have written that I “fraudulently” claimed that I had served you by facsimile. You contend that you “provided no facsimile contact information.” Ms. Satchel, I enclose a copy of a letter dated May 28, 2007, which you typed on your letterhead. It plainly shows your facsimile address. That letter was written during the course of your federal lawsuit, on which summary judgment was granted against you, which judgment was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court declined to review. I have had your facsimile telephone number ever since that date. I also enclose a copy of a facsimile transmission receipt showing that you received my transmission of April 18, 2008, which was in fact a copy of my motion for additional time. It was therefore impossible for you to truthfully assert that you did not receive notice of that request.

Moreover, in your press release, you admit to having received correspondence which was postmarked April 18, 2008, but received by you on the 29th of that same month. By local practice, attorneys who submit proposed orders to be considered by a court are required to provide stamped envelopes which may be used to notify the opposing party if the order is entered. My office did just that and the Court used that envelope which had been postmarked on the 18th to mail its order of the 28th. It is therefore clear that before you filed your motion for default, you were on notice of both my request for an extension of time and the Court’s granting of it. Yet you pled that I had “failed to plead or otherwise defend against any allegations made by the Plaintiff in the instant case.” You cannot have believed in the accuracy of that statement when you made it.

Finally, you now describe your termination as constituting retaliation for your “vocal support of’ a former employee of the School Board. Ms. Satchel, neither that employee nor anything related to him is mentioned in your complaint or your amended complaint. It was never mentioned in your federal lawsuit. Indeed, your current contention in that regard contradicts what you claim in your suit to have been the motivation for your termination.

Debra Satchel
May 8, 2008

Page 3
I will set my motions, as well as your motion for default, for hearing. My motion is based on the fact that the allegations of your current suit could have been raised in your federal suit and therefore should be dismissed. I hope that you will reconsider pursuit of this claim.

Very truly yours,
Thomas M. Gonzalez


Enclosures: Copy of motion for extension of time
Copy of Order granting extension of time
Copy of motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment and motion to strike
Copy of facsimile transmission receipt
Copy of correspondence dated May 28, 2007

cc: School Board Members
Superintendent MaryEllen Elia
Earl Lennard
Linda Kipley
Lee Drury DeCesare

PS: Mr. Gonzalez, I today received another Fed-X from you. I was revving up to turn you in to somebody when I discovered that you did me the courtesy of sending me the text of your response to the presiding judge in the Satchell case. Thank you. Have you been reading Ms. Manners perhaps?

Having read the text and after reviving from the coma it put me in, pray let me comment.

I have since found out that this poor woman is her own lawyer. And I believe she has come to know quite a bit about the law, which is not Spinoza so that lay people can master it if they sit in the library long enough. Lawyers used to get their licenses by reading law with some lawyer in town. Prisoners read their way to a law degree in prison, so the law is not something people have to sit over a crack in the earth in Lutz or Seffner to absorb.

It's no wonder Satchell is her own lawyer. She is probably broke by now; teachers don't have great pots of money as labor lawyers do or as do board members sucking school money out of the education state funds they sit on. So I admire Satchell's moxie in filing her own suit. My motto is When in doubt, tilt with windmills.

You, that wretched Kipley, and Ms. Greedy Guts Elia should be ashamed of yourselves for torturing this woman as her complaint catalogues. There is a special place in hell for such as y'all moral thugs.

All your response to Satchel's legal complaint is your template rat-a-tat-tat of precedents to slap down each of her claims. To be a labor lawyer mastering precedents seems to be all that is required. The local judge is just a plain lawyer who got elected or appointed to the bench. The judge lacks your history in labor law. He or she thinks your rat-a-tat-tat of precedents makes you a deep thinker who excels them by far. So instead of checking you out and looking up these precedents, they conclude you are a labor-law genius, deny the plaintiff certiori, doff their robes, and go to lunch at the University Club, which used to shut out women--I tried to take its liquor license away from the University Club years ago in the beginning of the Tampa Women's Movement but failed, alas. The University Club has since bowed to the protocols of our Brave New World and admits women to eat rubber chicken there along with the sexists.

That word "certiori" has an interesting etymoloy: Certiorari

("to be searched") is the present passive infinitive of Latin certioro, a contraction of certiorem facere ("to search", lit. "to make certain"). The Romans gave us law as well as pizza.

In sum, you have performed the ugly choreograph of slapping down a teacher with your Baedeker of index-card precedents that you apply ad lib in such cases. The instance of your and Ms. Bricklemyer's assuring Doug Erwin that the Whistleblower law would protect him if he gave you all the information he had and then dumping him to twist slowly in the wind after he complied with exposure to the sadism of the ROSSAC gang of ghouls was worse; but this performance in the Satchel case is a condign entry into your list of savaging anyone with enough moxie to challenge the administration or board thuggery.

Such life work is nothing to be proud of, Mr. Gonzalez. It is not the route to gain admittance to that great condo of saints in the sky. Trust me. All the seraphim and cherubim are buddies of mine and keep me up on the heavenly precedents of the rascals who get turned down for admission to Left-wing Paradise.

lee drury de cesare

PS: If this case goes to court, could you notify me? Be a sport. I want to see how agile you are on your feet in that arena.

The more I learn about skullduggery at the ROSSAC bubble, the more I am convinced that Tom Gonzalez is the fulcrum of it.

He's the longest-serving presence on the board or in the administration. He got his job from good-ol-boy protocols 37 years ago. He has sat in his seat so long that he is glued to it. He has the arrogance of longevity: he doesn't think the rules apply to him.

I asked him several times for the Erwin files; he didn't even deign to respond to me.
That's why I filed a bar ethics charge against him for not providing public information. For good measure, I added getting his job in a way that thwarted equal opportunity, shafting the first amendment as board attorney, and threatening to sue a citizen to keep her shut up.

You can win while losing. I did even though the bar committee turned down my charge of Gonzalez's ethics violations. His response to my ethics complaint compelled him write in excruciating detail about how he got his job: not a pretty sight; I made him defend himself against trashing the First Amendment; I made him stammer about his oblique threat to sue a citizen to shut her up by citing the SLAPP law (Debra Satchell told me about it) that denies crummy lawyers that vile tactic.

I also ripped his writing, grammar, and punctuation.

So I was beating my chest and giving a Tarzan yell when I walked away.

In the Erwin case, Mr. Erwin said Ms. Bricklemeyer was the most trustworthy of all the board--which is no great encomium, given the trustworthiness of the board potted plants as an ensemble--and finally went to her to tell her about his being retaliated against by the administration, chiefly the gang of Lennard, Davis, Hamilton, and Shields (now deceased).

Bricklemeyer took him to Gonzalez, and Gonzalez assured Erwin that the Whistleblower law protected him, even showed Erwin a copy of the law. Gonzalez told Erwin to write down all he was concerned about, that the Whistleblower law would protect him.

So Erwin wrote down everything he was concerned about and gave it to Gonzalez and Bricklemeyer. Then Bricklemeyer asked for an investigation. Gonzalez hired the firm of R.W. Gietzen, FCI, CCDI to do the investigation. I don't know what "FCI" or "CCDI" means. Does anybody?

But then when Gonzalez discovered that Gietzen's investigation confirmed Erwin's complaints, Gonzalez all of a sudden stopped the Gietzen investigation. That is why, one infers, that Gietzen's truncated report says that he didn't investigate things because of lack of time.

At that juncture, Erwin says in the later court filings that Bricklemeyer and Gonzalez dumped him altogether and left him twisting in the wind to be pummelled once again by Davis, Hamilton, Shields, and Lennard. He was made the football to be kicked from pillar to post by the entire ROSSAC crewe in sadistic ritual accorded by this bunch of ghouls to anybody who does not go along to get along and who complains when he sees theft and contractor malfeasance and work-time tricks.

This would have made another ethics charge against Gonzalez. If only I had been around then, I would have been enchanted to write the Florida bar about Gonzalez's betrayal of a whistleblower and his dumping back into ring where the ROSSAC Gestopo could go to work on him again.

I have asked Public Affairs for Ms. Bricklemeyer's address so that I can rebuke her for her vile behavior. Gonzalez already knows what I think of him from my bar-ethics filing. Consider Gonzalez's "report" to Lennard with the previous context in mind:

Dr. Earl Lennard, Superintendent Hillsborough County School Board December 4, 2001


December 4, 2001

Dr. Earl Lennard, Superintendent
Hillisborough County School Board
901 E. Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33602

Re: Grounds Investigation

Dear Dr. Lennard:

I submit to you the results of the investigation into allegations of criminal conduct, nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance allegedly committed by School Board members and former members, employees, and contractors, in connection with the Hillisborough County Schools Grounds Department.

This letter, and the materials which I am transmitting with it are submitted to you pursuant to Fla. Stat 231.29, which provides that an investigation of a school board employee will be exempt from disclosure under the State pubic records laws until the conclusion of the preliminary portion of the investigation. The cited part of the school code defines that conclusion by reference to a decision being made to proceed, or not to proceed, with action against the employees in question, at which point the investigation and all related materials become public record.

I believe that there are substantial reasons for moving forward, and I believe that you should consider several courses of action, none of which are mutually exclusive.

These are:
1. The immediate referral of the matter to appropriate law enforcement agencies, as we previously have done in all other investigations which involve possible criminal activity footnote, bottom of page 1: ‘I have been informed that both the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been and/or are investigating the allegations involving the Grounds Department Upon leaning this, I contacted the FBI agent conducting the investigation, to insure that nothing that I (cont. on next page)

Page 2
2. Disciplinary action against one or more Board employees;

3. Civil action to recoup School Board monies and property which may have been misappropriated or spent without proper authority;

4. Reorganization and/or elimination of the Grounds Department

5. Review of the Board’s policies and procedures for bidding and purchasing;

6. The adoption of Board policies emphasizing the obligation of School Board employees to report possible wrongdoing immediately upon learning
of it (and prepare to be crucified if they do);

7. Consideration of the function of the Board’s Security Department, with a particular emphasis on its involvement in criminal law enforcement, its relationship with law enforcement agencies, and the need for the Security Department to report possible criminal activities to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. I would suggest that some or all of these possible actions might be best conducted in some public forum, so that appropriate input can be provided to the Board and it can hear first hand from those witnesses most critical to its decision making. I believe that public consideration is important for these reasons and for another as well.

As you will find, this investigation has resulted in serious allegations against a host of current and former School Board officials, employees, contractors and vendors. These allegations, many of which are based on second-hand evidence, rumor and innuendo, have for some•
time, been discussed among several Board employees, and more recently, the local media. (Here's the tipoff for the motive for Bricklemeyer's call for an investigation. Erwin had complained of the conditions for four years and Lennard, Davis, Hamilton, and Shields had given him the runaround and had authorized all other employees by their example to do the same. But the board nor administration wanted the public to know they were crooks, hence Bricklemeyer's tardy call for an investigation. I judge this investigation via Le Gonzalez to be just another stalling device.) The subjects of these allegations, which include the undersigned, as well as high officials and administrators, and the Board’s contractors and vendors, deserve a

Continuation of footnote from page 1:
or the investigators conducting my investigation did would interfere with the FBI’s efforts. Although I did not ask for, and the FBI did not offer, any information it might have, I was informed that our investigation could proceed. The FBI agent asked that we share the results of our investigation to that point. We did so, and the School Board attorney provided the information that we had at that time. I will insure that the complete file is also forwarded to the FBI.

Page 3 hearing. (Erwin didn't deserve a hearing for four years. But other entities and "high officials" did.) The allegations are in several instances disputed or flatly denied. My concern for unfounded allegations aside, it is clear that there is a substantial body of evidence that at the very least, the Grounds Department has been mismanaged, and, at worst, one or more Board employees have committed one or more crimes. This investigation was made very difficult by the manner in which Grounds has been supervised, or in many respects, not supervised, and the manner in which those persons having knowledge of possible wrongdoing chose to disclose what they knew, and to whom they did or did not disclose it.

Elsa Tuggle was and is an assistant principal at Sickles High School. She has no connection with Grounds and no authority over its operations. John Brungard is employed by the Board as a Multi-Trades Worker II, in the Grounds Department. Tuggle and Brungard are friends. At some point in time, Mr. Brungard began confiding in Ms. Thggle, as a friend (Ms. Tuggle had no authority over him), about certain improprieties allegedly being committed by James McClelland. Mr. McClelland was, until his retirement, the Manager of the Grounds Department. Mr. McClelland was directly supervised by Doug Erwin, who has been the General Director of Grounds for some four years. Mr. Erwin answers to Jack Davis. (So why didn't Principal Tuggle pick up the phone and tell Lennard? Because she knew he would punish, not thank, her.) Regarding the undersigned, Beverly Spano, (Ms. Spano is a favorite of mine in this seedy saga. She was the woman who granted the regular workers the same privlileges that McClelland had arrogated to himself, i.e. not checking in but getting the time paid for nonetheless. She admitted what she had done up front to Gietzen when he quizzed her, saying she carried out this program in the name of fairness.)Sr. Maint. Clerk, Grounds Dept., and John Brungard, a Multi Trades Worker TI, Maint Dept., have given sworn testimony to the effect that I informed James McClelland, and/or his attorney, of the direction and/or the results of my investigation. In fact, I have spoken with Mr. McClelland in person once, and on the telephone once. (Wouldn't you think, since Erwin had been complaining about McClelland for four years, that somebody with a shred of logic and care about the schoool system would have called him in for an interview--Lennard, Hamilton, Davis, Shields, or Gonzalez? McClleland bragged about getting rich off the school board job.)I have traded telephone calls with Mr. MeClelland’s attorney (Daniel Coton), but do not recall ever speaking with him, and I have never discussed with him anything related to the investigation. My conversation with Mr. McClelland occurred prior to and after a deposition of Mr. McClelland which I defended for the Board. By that time, Mr. McClelland had declined to be interviewed by Mr. Bill Gietzen, citing the advice of his attorney, but had allowed Mr. Gietzen to visit his home so as to allow Mr. Gietzen to determine the presence of School Board property (he found none).

I asked Mr.
McClelland to reconsider his refusal, because without his explanation the investigation would proceed based only on the testimony of those who did give information. Shortly thereafter, I called Mr. McClelland, who by that time had retired, as part of an attempt to serve him with a subpoena in connection with the trial of the matter in which he had been deposed. Ms. McClelland informed me that he was leaving, “whenever he needed to,” for Colorado. We were unable to find him at his home, and he was never served. I had no further contact with Mr. McClelland. I never told him, or any agent of his, anything related to what had been disclosed in the investigation.

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Mr. Brungard informed Ms. Tuggle that Mr. McClelland would leave work for personal reasons, for hours and/or full days, without taking leave time, was using and/or stealing School Board property and equipment for personal purposes, and was mishandling bids awarded to vendors and subcontractors, some of whom had personal connections to Mr. McClelland. Ms. Tuggle informed the School Board Security Department, specifically Steve Hough and Fred Ferraiuolo, of these allegations, speaking to one or both of the Security Department employees, “almost on a daily basis.” At some point in time Brungard also told Mr. Erwin about Mr. McClelland’s improper conduct. In late September of 2000, Messrs. Hough and Ferraiuolo undertook an investigation of Mr. McClelland.

I find no evidence that either man acted with anything less than the best of intentions, (albeit with minimal brain power) but they did not immediately involve law enforcement. This decision is critical, and it directly leads to my suggestion that the Board consider the
future role of the Security Department in any matter which might, or should, lead to a criminal investigation. In one particular instance, Hough and Ferraiuolo looked into a suspicion that two tractors and two lawn mowers (or three tractors, depending on which source one uses) which had been stolen from the Board had in fact been stolen by McClelland. In the course of their investigation, the two investigators traveled to Pasco County, Florida, where MeClelland has a farm and was building a residence. The two men hid in an orange grove which is adjacent to McClelland’s property but not owned by him.

Using a surveyor’s transit instrument, they looked into
McClelland’s property and saw four pieces of equipment, which fit the description of those stolen from the Board. They did not however, have any equipment with which they could photograph the scene, (sharp fellows--just the kind needed in the Security Department) although they used such equipment on at least one occasion, when they photographed the School Board’s truck which was assigned to McClelland parked at his home, during work hours. Hough and Ferraiuolo had no authority to enter private property, nor any legal jurisdiction or authority in Pasco County. While they reported their observations and were given approval to photograph McClelland’s property, by the time approval was obtained and the two men returned to Pasco County, the tractors were not found on the property. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office was not notified. It clearly should have been. Additionally, a truck was seen at the McClelland property, and was being unloaded by McClelland, during working hours. The Security Department could not state that the property unloaded at McClelland’s home, which was then under construction, was owned by the School

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Board, (Question: can these security characters tie their shoes?) or that the tractors and lawn mowers, which are similar to equipment widely used by agriculture interests in rural areas, were in fact the ones stolen from the Board. Rough and Ferraiuolo did, however, continue to make whatever investigative efforts of which they were capable, based on the information given them from Brungard through Tuggle, (not to mention their IQ level) and, later, based on information received from Erwin. Mr. Erwin confirms that at least some of the information on which he relied was received from Brungard. I note that Mr. Erwin has stated that he informed his direct superiors, and the Security Department, on several occasions over the course of some three years, of suspicions relating to McClelland committing theft of School Board property and other potentially criminal acts. Two of those three superiors are still employed by the Board, Dr. James Hamilton and Jack Davis. Hamilton states that shortly after he was appointed, in 1998, to his present position, Erwin mentioned to him that McClelland had “one of every type of equipment bought by the District on his property.”

Erwin did not have any evidence of what, if anything,
McClelland had, or what Erwin did to pursue the allegation. Davis and Hamilton deny any other complaint by Erwin about McClelland prior to 2000, the year in which this investigation began, which related to the allegations at issue in this investigation. Erwin did discuss concerns which he had with employees of the grounds Department, and some business practices. Erwin did institute some changes in the bidding procedures, and other practices, at Grounds. His concerns with employees are discussed below. The efforts of the Security Department were halted after Erwin brought his concerns and allegations to the attention of the then Chairman of the School Board, Carolyn Bricklemyer, whom Erwin trusted.

Bricklemyer contacted the Superintendent, and it was decided that the matters raised by Erwin should be immediately investigated, (since the press was asking questions) using the procedure by which other investigations had been conducted. The concerns brought by Erwin to Bricklemyer concerned both Grounds and Maintenance. The investigation into the latter area has been concluded and the results transmitted to you, referred to the State Attorney, and used as the basis for disciplinary action.

I therefore will not discuss it any further in this report, which focuses on Grounds.

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under the direction of the School Board Attorney, Crosby Few, who was to make use of Oscar Westerfield, a retired FBI agent who was now in private business as an investigator. Mr. Westerfield had thoroughly and successfully conducted two other investigations for the Board. Mr. Few removed himself from the investigation after Erwin raised concerns about Mr. Few’s involvement with the investigation into the Transportation Department, which Erwin felt had not been vigorously pursued. I note that while Mr. Few chose to remove himself from the investigation, the Transportation department investigation resulted in several firings and resignations and referral of the matter for criminal prosecution. Law enforcement, however, declined to intervene. At the outset of the investigation, Ms. Bricklemyer and I met with Mr. Erwin, and asked that he provide all of his information related to the Board’s operations in writing. Mr. Erwin expressed some concern for his job security, based primarily on the fact that he had no personal knowledge of the concerns he held. At that meeting, he was concerned that if his concerns were not supported, that he would be held accountable. I gave Mr. Erwin a copy of the Florida Whistleblowers Act, which protects public employees from any retaliatory employment actions motivated by retaliation for the employee’s good faith complaint of unlawful or otherwise inappropriate activities, and advised him to consult an attorney if he had any questions. He said he already had spoken to at least one attorney. Mr. Erwin was also told by Mr. Westerfield about legal protection afforded whistleblowers.

Mr. Erwin informed me that he had been contacted by persons unknown to him, and not apparently connected with the Board, who warned him of consequences which might flow from bis disclosures. This warning had occurred at a location which Erwin described as a dance club. When he went there, after being told to do so in a telephone call from an unknown source, he was met by a man who described himself as a lawyer, who told him that he was “fighting a battle he could not win, that he should retain a lawyer, and he should go to the FBI.” Mr. Erwin told me on several occasions that he would “hold off” from talking to law enforcement agencies and the media. I informed Mr. Erwin then, told him again on several occasions, and told Mr. Wayne Dassinger, an investigator in the Board’s Office of Professional Standards, to tell Mr. Erwin, that he was free to contact any or all law enforcement agencies, and any or all media. Mr. Erwin provided me with several items, which are described in my letter of November 13, 2000 to Bill Gietzen, attached hereto. Erwin later supplemented these materials, and everything he gave me is included in the files I am submitting herewith Page 7 and/or the binder later submitted by Bill Gietzen. Additionally, Erwin was interviewed twice, once by Mr. Westerfield and again by Mr. Dassinger. He was asked to provide any other information he might have.

According to
Dassinger, Erwin told him that he, Erwin, had not disclosed all he knew, and that he was holding some things back. Mr. Westerfield began his investigation by interviewing Erwin, who brought Hough and Ferraiuolo with him, talking with the Security Department, and developing some information. He was able to discover the source of some of the information. Shortly after he began his efforts, however, Mr. Westerfield declined to participate any further. Shortly before beginning the investigation at issue here, Mr. Westerfield had been personally sued, albeit unsuccessfully, by a former employee of the Board, who had been fired after Mr. Westerfield’s investigation of the Transportation Department.

Westerfield indicated that did not want to risk another suit and therefore withdrew, after turning over whatever materials he had by that time compiled. We thereafter retained Bill Gietzen, a retired investigator with the Hilisborough County State’s Attorney office to complete the investigation. As noted above, I forwarded to Mr. Gietzen on November 13, 2000, the materials I received from Erwin. Mr. Gietzen began his investigation by focusing on the Maintenance Department. He completed his efforts in that regard and submitted to me Mr. Gietzen did digress from his investigation of Maintenance, at my request, to look into allegations that palm trees owned by the School Board had been diverted from Grounds to the private home of Randy Poindexter. I asked that this be done because the allegations supposedly had come to the attention of the Security Department by way of a Hillisborough County Deputy Sheriff. I therefore hoped that the matter already had been the subject of some investigation which we could use.

Gietzen reported to me, on January25, 2001, that he had interviewed Hough and Ferraiuolo, to whom the deputy had given the information, and the deputy himself Mr. Gietzen reported that the deputy denied making any accusation, but had passed on a rumor, heard from a newspaper reporter, about the trees. David Friedberg, (This is the hulking specimen who kicked me out of the school-board meeting at Chair Pole Girl Falliera's request.) the Director of School Board security remembers that when Hough and Ferraiuolo reported to him what they had been told by the deputy, he immediately directed them to re-contact the deputy and get specific information in a statement. Friedberg reported that thereafter he was told by Hough and Ferraiuolo that the deputy had “recanted” the charge. The deputy, contacted by Gietzen denied any second contact by the Security Department, or that he had “recanted” anything he told the two Security Department investigators. Gietzen talked with Poindexter, photographed Poindexter’s house and yard, and talked to Poindexter’s neighbors.

Gietzen found no evidence that Poindexter had ever had palm trees in his yard, and therefore labeled the allegations false. Page 8 his report, on March 5, 2001. The information obtained by Gietzen was given to the State’s Attorney. Gietzen then turned his attentions to Grounds. Because we had hoped to complete the investigation of all of the matters raised by Mr. Erwin as soon as possible, (No reason given for the urgency of a situation that had been going on for four years with Mr. Erwin desperately trying to get the attention on it of Lennard, Shields, Davis, and Hamilton, but we learn from the court records later that Mr. Gonzalez shuts down the Geitzen investigation because it corroborated what Erwin had been saying, and as the tool of the administration, Mr. Gonzalez did not want confirmation on recored that Erwin was right.)Mr. Gietzen was asked to complete those investigative efforts at Grounds which he could, and then report to me what he had done, with suggestions for what needed to be looked into. I received this report on June 1, 2001. That report is a part of the materials transmitted with this report. After reading the report, I informed the Superintendent that there were several matters that needed further investigation. Additionally, I believed that we needed more documentation of some of Mr. Gietzen’s findings. (He means more attenuation of the findings, which corroborated Erwin.) By way of example, Mr. Gietzen reported that Beverly Spano had admitted to “fraudulent” and “criminal’ activity, specifically that she had intentionally failed to dock Grounds employees for leave time taken by them and misstated their time records, because she felt that, since McClelland did not report all of his absences, his subordinates should not be required to do so. Unfortunately, Mr. Gietzen did not record this interview. Neither did he record his interview of Mr. Brungard, who had reported much of what was involved in the investigation. According to Ms. Tuggle, Gietzen’s interview of her had been “unofficial,” owing to the fact that she felt some concerns over the sincerity of the investigation. (And well she might.)

Mr. Gietzen did not interview Erwin, relying instead on the interview already conducted by Westerfield. Mr. Gietzen found no proof that McClelland was stealing Board property or supplies, noting that these accusations, and others, were based on “rumors, innuendo and statements from anonymous individuals.”
In addition, it was my opinion that some matters needed further examination. As an example, Mr. Gietzen wrote the following: That somethne during the week of October 2-6, 2000, Joe Newsome contacted McClelland and warned him that he was being investigated.

This allegation was discussed with School Board employee Beverly Spano. Spano indicates that at the
To illustrate the many difficulties encountered in investigating this matter, long after Gietzen had completed his efforts, Ms. Beverly Spano, an employee of Grounds, stated in an interview conducted by Professional Standards, that the trees were not palms but crepe, or some other kind o myrtles. I will discuss this information below. There is still no proof of any trees being diverted to Mr. Poindexter’s home. Page 8 The information obtained by Gietzen was given to the State’s Attorney. Gietzen then turned his attentions to Grounds. Because we had hoped to complete the investigation of all of the matters raised by Mr. Erwin as soon as possible, Mr. Gietzen was asked to complete those investigative efforts at Grounds which he could, and then report to me what he had done, with suggestions for what needed to be looked into.

I received this report on June 1, 2001. That report is a part of the materials transmitted with this report. After reading the report, I informed the Superintendent that there were sevenl matters that needed further investigation. Additionally, I believed that we needed more documentation of some of Mr. Gietzen’s findings.
By way of example, Mr. Gietzen reported that Beverly Spano had admitted to “fraudulent” and “criminal’ activity, specifically that she had intentionally failed to dock Grounds employees for leave time taken by them and misstated their time records, because she felt that, since McClelland did not report all of his absences, his subordinates should not be required to do so.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gietzen did not record this interview. Neither did he record his interview of Mr. Brungard, who had reported much of what was involved in the investigation. According to Ms. Tuggle, Gietzen’s interview of her had been “unofficial,” owing to the fact that she felt some concerns over the sincerity of the investigation. Mr. Gietzen did not interview Erwin, relying instead on the interview already conducted by Westerfield. Mr. Gietzen found no proof that McClelland was stealing Board property or supplies, (an alert investigator might have looked at his bank account) noting that these accusations, and others, were based on “rumors, innuendo and statements from anonymous individuals.”
In addition, it was my opinion that some matters needed further examination.

As an example, Mr. Gietzen wrote the following:
That somethne during the week of October 2-6, 2000, Joe Newsome contacted McClelland and warned him that he was being investigated. (Newsome has a school named after him, of course. Every rascal in the Bay Area has a school named after him.) This allegation was discussed with School Board employee Beverly Spano.

Spano indicates that at the
To illustrate the many difficulties encountered in investigating this matter, long after Gietzen had completed his efforts, Ms. Beverly Spano, an employee of Grounds, stated in an interview conducted by Professional Standards, that the trees were not palms but crepe, or some other kind o myrtles. I will discuss this information below. There is still no proof of any trees being diverted to Mr. Poindexter’s home.

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At the time MoClelland was accused of wrong doing concerning trees by Mr. Erwin, he, MeClelland returned to his office quite agitated and made two phone calls, one to Joe Newsom and one to Sam Rarnpello. Spano indicates that Rampello was on site within the next fifteen minutes and left with the file concerning those trees.
(Rampello calls this a lie in his depositon. I go with my girl Spano. I know Sam Rampello's persiflage from HCC.) This information was passed on to an informant who then passed it on to the [Security Department]. There is no information evident that any cover up happened or that any actions were taken to cover wrongdoing. It seems self-evident that a school board employee taking possession of a file related to improprieties allegedly committed by another employee, who was accused of delivering the file would, if the conduct occurred, could certainly be evidence of wrongdoing. I therefore asked for and received authority to make use of investigators in the Board’s Professional Standards office and asked them to complete the interviews necessary for this report. Professional Standards did so, and conducted thirty interviews or re-interviews of witnesses or potential witnesses.

Additionally, much of what Gietzen discussed in his report, and a substantial portion of the matters he believed to warrant additional investigation, involved accounting and audit issues. As to those matters, I have deferred to the Finance Department, which has looked into those matters and produced the reports which have been independently transmitted.

I am hereby transmitting all that I have related to my investigation for your consideration and direct your attention to the following:
Mr. Erwin raised several concerns involving Mr. Newsome. Specifically, he complained that very soon after he assumed the management of Maintenance, Newsome met with several of his direct report employees. Newsome in fact did meet with several Maintenance supervisors, at the request of those employees, who told Newsome of complaints they had about Erwin’s management style. Newsome said that after this meeting, he met with Erwin, the Superintendent, and Dr. Hamilton.

In that meeting, Newsome relayed the comments of Erwin’s subordinates, and thereafter took no further action. Erwin says that it was reported to him that Newsome had made the comment that “We” needed to work together to get Erwin out of the school system. Newsome denies that statement. Neither has he taken any action to attempt to affect Erwin’s employment (which Dr. Earl Lennard, Superintendent

To be continued when I get a chance to copy in the rest. lee