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There is a different post today at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link:
Meanwhile, a somewhat related bunker buster leads off this week’s (Friday is publication day) article at www.thebluepaper.com. Here’s the teaser for that article, which you should be able to reach by clicking on the link just below, or on the link at the end of the teaser.
There it was a 100’ wooden dock, all ready for the sport fishing boats belonging to the owners of the 8 new mansions nestled between the palm trees and the tropical flowers. The only problem was, no boats could get to the dock! There was simply not enough water covering the sea grass bed surrounding Walker’s Island and the necessary dredging operation was strictly prohibited by the Monroe County Code.
So, was that the end of it? Well, not quite. Beginning in 2010 savvy developers and their lawyers discovered a little-known loophole; a way around Monroe County’s tight environmental regulations. For a $ 5,000 application fee, a developer can write his own version of the law and, after proper lobbying, force the County Commission to vote on whether to reject or adopt his “Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment.”
Several County Commission members, including Commissioner Danny Kolhage and Mayor Sylvia Murphy, have expressed concern over the process and the amount of time expended by County staff on these private legislation projects. [...full article]
Also in the Key West cauldron today, from the Citizen - www.keysnews.com, I added the pics and some trailing comments.
Friday, May 16, 2014 Decrease Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter
City: 13 officers have ‘qualified immunity’
It’s the first legal move by Key West in the Eimers case
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
The 13 Key West police officers named in a wrongful death lawsuit are entitled to qualified immunity, the legal protection meant to ensure government officials can do their jobs without fear of being held personally liable, the city’s attorneys say.
Qualified immunity is allowed as a defense for officials working “within the scope” of their authority, according to case law cited in a motion to dismiss filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
“Qualified immunity is the rule rather than the exception,” wrote attorney Michael Burke, whose Fort Lauderdale firm is representing the city in this case.
This is the city’s first legal move in the federal lawsuit filed April 11 by the family of Charles Eimers,
the Michigan man who died in the hospital six days after police held him facedown in the sand during an arrest.
Eimers’ family accuses police of killing the man by cutting off his air supply while restraining him. In addition to the city, the suit names the following officers: Gabriel Garrido, Gustavo Medina, Kathyann Wanciak, Gary Lee Lovette, Matthew Johnson, Francisco Zamora, Thaddeus Calvert, Derek Wallis, Nicholas Galbo, Janeth Calvert, Pablo Rodriguez and Todd Stevens.
Officer Henry Del Valle was added to the suit in an amended complaint, which has a new allegation: Lovette elbowing Eimers in the back of the head as he was on the ground.
The new complaint adds claims that Lovette laughed that his elbow to the head “sure quieted [Eimers] down,” and later joked about Eimers’ death.
“There’s no way he’s dead, otherwise I’d still be away,” Lovette is quoted as having said after returning to Key West from a trip, the family’s lawsuit says.
But the city’s attorneys say the 24-count lawsuit is “devoid of any factual content,” proving a single Key West police officer deprived Eimers of his constitutional rights or acted in any way to cause his death.
If any violation occurred, however, it would fall under the immunity protection, the motion states.
Qualified immunity, federal courts have held, may protect “all but the plainly incompetent or one who is knowingly violating the federal law,” the motion states.
An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the Nov. 28 incident that sent Eimers to a hospital bed where he died Dec. 6 is still pending. That review has so far kept the final autopsy report by the county medical examiner under wraps.
Eimers, 61, a retired General Motors worker, was pulled over Thanksgiving morning on North Roosevelt Boulevard for an illegal lane change. But during the stop, he drove off and led police on a slow-speed chase to the end of Duval Street.
Police officers said they had to restrain Eimers by putting him on his belly, handcuffing him behind his back and adding a leg restraint called a Hobble.
At one point, however, Eimers turned blue and officers began life-saving measures, including a defibrillator, according to reports.
Paramedics reported that Eimers had no pulse when they first reached him.
That’s a pretty good article; doesn’t seem Gwen is thrilled with those 13 police officers’ sworn oath and dedication to uphold the law and protect and serve civilians.
As some of us in Key West have known for a good while, first and always, to the KWPD, Protect and Serve means protect and serve KWPD.
I can’t say this “bump in the road” for the federal civil rights lawsuit surprises me.
Fortunately, a U.S. District Judge, not a defense lawyer, will decide the various issues and allegations the plaintiff attorneys are prosecuting.
Even more fortunately, a court not of this world will decide the fates of the 13 police officers, and their police chief, and his masters in City Hall, regardless of what a U.S. District Judge decides.
How I feel about the Eimers case, and how it should have been dealt with by Mayor Craig Cates after he saw his police were not telling the truth, was covered in yesterday’s when the chickens came home to roost and other Key West homeless tourist attractions post at this website.
As if that was still lingering in the air, headed on my bicycle yesterday afternoon to where I stay in Key West, I bumped into Peter Batty
leaving the Bayview Park tennis courts. He was dressed casually in long pants, carrying two tennis rackets. I asked where were his tennis shorts? He said he had been watching, I thank it was, his grandson play.
Peter asked how my mayor campaign is going? I said I’m running against two tough, popular candidates.
He asked what did I think were Governor Scott’s chances this year against Charlie Crist? I said I am not keeping up with that race, but I figure Scott will get all the Republican votes, and the Tea Party, and the middle and right-wing Christian votes.
I said I had met the Libertarian candidate recently in Key West, and he will get votes. I said the Libertarian candidate was all wound up, but he actually had some pretty good ideas, and he was not deluded that he would win.
Peter said, sounded like the Libertarian candidate has a realistic view of his chances, like I have of my chances.
Peter is a lay minister at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, and he also is a real estate broker.
I said I’d heard the Miami Diocese wanted to sell its land where Mary Star of the Sea’s soup kitchen now operates on Flagler Avenue. Peter said, actually, the Dioceses wants to build affordable housing there, if the soup kitchen gets moved to the new homeless shelter, wherever that ends up. I said, on the moon. Peter laughed. I said I was glad to hear the Diocese wants to build affordable housing, we need it.
I said, right now, the entire city is on trial for the death of Charles Eimers. Peter nodded, said he had read my post yesterday, and he agreed with my take on the Eimers case.
I said I have no faith in the KWPD and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to do the right thing, and the case is wearing me out; what is behind what I am writing into is really heavy, principalities. Same for just about every thing else I engage down here in “paradise”.
Peter told me to keep after it.
Might as well, don’t have anything else to do :-).