cover up, evidence tampering, the smell test, hidden agendas, behaving yourself and other common shenanigans in Key West and the Florida Keys

fishy smell

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Excerpted from today’s Citizen –

Hometown PAC’s “Meet the Candidates” event tonight is only for those who qualified for the fall election and the evening’s format doesn’t include debates … Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at The Studios of Key West, 600 White St., for a half-hour social mixer before the 6 p.m. start time for candidates to take turns introducing themselves.

Perhaps “qualified” should be taken with a grain of salt. Perhaps somebody tonight will mention what these two editorial cartoons from Key West the News Paper – – depict:

Charles Eimer's take down

Charles Eimers smothered

There is a “New Witness Comes Forward: ‘They Just Killed a Man'” Charles Eimers article in this Friday’s (today) blue paper, which you should be able to reach by clicking on, and then by opening the article.

I submitted this reader comment:

JUNE 20, 2014 AT 6:57 AM

When I bumped into Arnaud and Naja at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning, I said, “I hope you have another bone-crusher for tomorrow’s issue.” Naja said they did. They did. I just read it.

Perhaps it is time for the Horan law firm to consider trying to bring FDLE into the federal lawsuit as a “co-conspirator after the fact” – ie. as part of the cover up which began on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day, when KW police did not interview and take statements from eye witnesses, and told eye witnesses to be quiet about what they saw. It is true, if a defendant is found to have tampered or hidden evidence, or even has tried to do that, a jury is entitled to draw adverse in inference from that against the defendant. It also is true, if a defendant has lied as to a material fact in a case, a jury is entitled to disregard the defendant’s entire testimony.

The cover up in this case started at South Beach, and continued in KW police officers’ incident reports, in not notifying the Eimers family, in trying to get Charles Eimers’ body cremated, and perhaps in the hospital losing, or throwing away, tissue samples from his body. The Medical Examiner quitting and moving elsewhere perhaps cannot be taken at face value – I suppose we will know more about that when the final autopsy is published.

What I’m driving at is, FDLE had nothing to do with the death of Charles Eimers, other than perhaps a general “grapevine” knowledge that FDLE was inclined to bend over backward to exonerate law enforcement officers accused of committing crimes in the way they apprehended suspects.

All that bone-crushing must not, however, sweep away what caused Charles Eimers to be dead on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day. What caused Eimers to be dead was he was suspected of living in his PT Cruiser, he was suspected of being homeless. According to Naja and Arnaud, one cop on top of Eimers later boasted to a friend that he had elbowed “the bum” in the back of the neck, or maybe it was in the back of the head. In Key West, “bum” is synonymous with “homeless”.

That, CBS did not go anywhere near, which I found astounding, since CBS knew about it. That, to me, is the real elephant in this living room. Charles Eimers would not have died on South Beach, if he had not been profiled as being homeless.

Homeless people in Key West will tell you, if they trust you, that there are KW police who go out of their way to be hard on homeless people. Lord it over homeless people. Boss homeless people around just because they are cops and can do it. Threaten homeless people with jail, if they don’t comply with orders to do something, stop doing something, which orders have no legal basis.

It was a time bomb ticking – Key West’s homeless policy, which the City Commission formulated and KW city police carried out. It’s been a time bomb ticking for years. The time bomb went off last Thanksgiving Day on South Beach, when Charles Eimers and his body and bones were crushed into the sand.

Not even yet have the mayor and city commissioners expressed public remorse, not even yet have they apologized to the Eimers family. They are part of the cover up, too. More than that, they are responsible for the city’s aggressive homeless policy and the way their police enforce it. And, yes, so are the people of Key West, who agree with that aggressive homeless policy.

If I were the Horans, I would depose City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, who has plainly stated a number of times in public meetings, including city commission meetings, that he wants all homeless people in Key West made to stay in a homeless shelter up the Keys, on Rockland Key, on Big Coppit Key. Tony has used the bum word describing homeless people who do not meet his approval: homeless people who are not actively trying to turn their lives around.

In Key West, Tony has a large following on that attitude. That attitude, which got the bum Charles Eimers killed on South Beach last Thanksgiving. Eimers died then. What was resuscitated was merely his body. He was not coming back, as time proved. Then, the KWPD tried to get rid of the evidence – Eimers body. They tried, because they didn’t want an autopsy done, is how this former practicing attorney would argue it to a federal judge and jury.

Moving laterally,

Snoopy Detective

I had an interesting conversation with a Key West mover and shaker yesterday; interesting because of what the mover and shaker told me lies underneath City Commissioner Tony Yaniz

Tony Yaniz 2

calling for the resignation of City Manager Bob Vitas,

Bob Vitas

over Vitas’ giving Assistant City Manager David Fernandez

David Fernandez

a golden parachute, and over Vitas not running that contract by City Attorney Shawn Smith, left in photo,

Shawn Smith

and over Vitas shutting Smith out and causing Smith to tell the City Commission this past Tuesday night that he was not inclined to renew his contract with the city and stay on as City Attorney. Smith did not specifically say that was the reason, but it could have been inferred from what all went on at that commission meeting.

You should be able to watch it yourself by clicking on this link and advancing the time to 23 minutes mark.

What I was told by the mover and shaker is, underneath Yaniz’ call for Vitas’ resignation, or firing, is the Key West Conchs (people born in Key West) want Key West Conch Danny Kohlage, Jr., a former city commissioner, to be hired as City Manager. Danny is the son of Key West Conch County Commissioner Danny Kohlage, for whom I have great respect. Danny did a terrific job when he was County Clerk. When he retired and then filed to run for City Commission, no one else opposed him; he won simply by filing.

However, as the mover and shaker told it, and I have heard it elsewhere, Danny Jr. is not a chip off the old block – he is not qualified to be City Manager. In fact, he does not even live in Key West. He moved to Ocala, where a good many Key West Conchs moved and are called “The Ocala Conchs”.

I have heard some Key West Conchs moved to Ocala because they got fed up with how Key West was going. Some moved there because they cashed in on the huge equity in their homes, by selling same. Some moved there because they borrowed a huge amount of money against their home equity, and then the bottom dropped out of the real estate market, and they lost their home to foreclosure or short sale. Then, unable to pay high Key West residential rents, they moved to Ocala.

The mover and shaker said Danny Jr.’s business in Key West went under, and then he moved to Ocala. The mover and shaker said he did not know if Danny Jr. had lost his home before he moved to Ocala. I said that should be easy enough to ascertain.

The mover and shaker said the Key West Conchs are fed up with outsiders being in office down here; they want Key West Conchs in office, and that is more important to them than Key West Conchs being qualified for office.

I told the mover and shaker this news did not surprise me, but even so, Vitas giving the golden parachute to Fernandez was way out of line and it needs to be dealt with regardless of any Key West Conch agendas to retake Key West. The mover and shaker agreed. We also agreed the City Manager and the City Attorney have to work together; and if they don’t, that needs to be dealt with.

In that vein, this article in yesterday’s Citizen –

Thursday, June 19, 2014 Add to Facebook Add to Twitter
Yaniz calls on city manager to resign
Special meeting on June 30 will determine future of Vitas
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff

City Commissioner Tony Yaniz called on City Manager Bob Vitas to resign Wednesday, the day after a contentious public meeting during which the city attorney said Vitas ignored local law in creating a $114,000 job.

“He could do the right thing, call it a day and resign,” Yaniz said Wednesday, after posting on Facebook that Vitas has been “derelict in his duties” by not seeking in-house legal reviews of city matters.

“Now the community knows what city staff has known for a long time,” Yaniz posted online.

Yaniz is among four of the seven commission members who want to scrap the $114,000 contract with 28-year employee David Fernandez that was signed June 11 without any review from City Attorney Shawn Smith’s department.

Also on Wednesday, a special city commission meeting that could determine Vitas’ has a career left in Key West government was set for 9 a.m. June 30.

Specifically, the meeting is for commissioners to decide whether to invalidate the Fernandez contract and to vote on Yaniz’s proposal for a vote of no confidence for Vitas, who arrived in July 2012, after having run the village of Lake Zurich, Illinois.

Vitas, whose contract runs through July 15, 2015, would answer no questions Wednesday.

“No comment,” he texted in reply to The Citizen’s request for an interview about both Yaniz’s announcement and the June 30 meeting.

His three-year contract comes with an automatic two-year renewal unless either the city or Vitas gives written notice of intent to change or terminate the deal. That notice must come at least 180 days before July 15, 2015.

The contract allows the city to fire Vitas for any policy violation of misconduct as defined by state law without owing him a cent.

But without legal cause, the city could only cancel the agreement by paying him 20-weeks worth of severance of pay and benefits within 15 days.

The same termination policy, down to the 20 week window, is included in Fernandez’s new contract.

Vitas earns $180,00 0 a year.

On Tuesday night, Vitas didn’t budge under heavy criticism, maintaining the city charter directs him to hire and fire City Hall staff. He added that city policies were “inconsistent,” an explanation Smith called a “bald-faced false statement.”

In 2007, the commission passed a resolution requiring the city attorney to review any “documents that may bind the city.” An earlier law states that any contract worth more than $20,000 requires the commission’s approval.

Only Commissioner Teri Johnston agreed, saying elected leaders have done nothing but try to “micro-manage” Vitas since he took the helm July 16, 2012.

Commissioner Mark Rossi has been out of the country since the Fernandez contract arose June 11.

Mayor Craig Cates said this week that he has met with Vitas and Smith before to tell them to work together and in his view it is Vitas whose door remains closed.

Commissioners Clayton Lopez, Billy Wardlow and Jimmy Weekley joined Yaniz in calling the Fernandez deal improperly handled.

Weekley says he wants to hear all of the facts and arguments for and against Vitas’ job performance June 30 before rendering any opinion on the man’s future in Key West.

“You’re talking about someone who sold a house up north and relocated down here,” Weekley said Wednesday. “You’re taking their livelihood away and you have to have a strong reason for doing that.”

But the four leaders Tuesday night showed dismay with Vitas over his decision last week to give Assistant City Manager Fernandez a five-year contract as the city’s new utilities director that pays nearly $53,000 more than the outgoing department head, Jay Gewin.

Gewin, whose title is utilities manager, earned $61,000 a year. He resigned May 7, the day after the commission rejected his report that advised the city to hire a new company as its trash hauler.

Instead, a 4-3 commission went out of its way to ensure Waste Management kept the job, approving a 7-year deal that is overall $14 million more expensive than the current contract.

That same deal adds a second day of trash pickup in the city, ending the once weekly schedule created last summer that had been part of the solid waste master plan as a way to increase the island’s recycling rate.

Fernandez announced June 11 that he is retiring from the city after 28 years and will draw a pension while taking on the six-figure job which is also his old stomping grounds. From 1995 to 2008, Fernandez was the city’s utilities director.

dump the pumps

Shenanigans, intrigue and public corruption ain’t all confined to Key West, of course. This stinger came in from Dump the Pumps President Banks Prevatt yesterday:

To All:

Just want you to know that we are still working.

In a public records request, this email from FKAA to DEP surfaced. There are more, but this sample gives you an idea of what we are up against.

These are our public servants plotting to deceive us.

The author is Tom Walker, managing engineer of FKAA. The recipients are the upper echelons and permitting authority of DEP for this region of Florida. The referenced Mr Feldman is the attorney for FKAA.

The plot is to bypass the permit notification process, violating the intent of the law, so that Dump the Pumps will miss the protest time limits. The arrogance is mind boggling. If we had the resources, I would love to explore the criminal side of DEP and FKAA actions. The County is right in the middle of this.

Commissioner Neugent went on the local radio station saying that he has talked with the head of DEP and was told, not to worry, keep on working.

Our leaders are breaking laws.

Banks — see the email below dated February 27 –

From: wdrabinski@______
To: bigpinefl@______, Bgprevatt@_____
Sent: 6/19/2014 8:01:26 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: FW: Big Pine Key Collection System
This is interesting!!
From: Tom Walker []
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 3:03 PM
To: Iglehart, Jon;Oni, James;Ahmadi, Abdul
Cc: Robert Feldman;
Subject: Big Pine Key Collection System

Mr. Iglehart, we heard from your staff today that an “Intent to Issue” may be utilized for the collection system permit on North Big Pine Key. FKAA strongly believes that such action will lead to an administrative hearing. We also believe the system is a straightforward design similar to the other collection systems in the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System and should be handled similar to these other permit applications; without an Intent to Issue formality.

As you know, a third party know as “Dump the Pump” is looking at any means to delay and uproot our project. They would certainly have a keen interest in filing a petition for an administrative hearing. An administrative hearing will cause a major delay leading to contract claims, missing deadlines and potential moratorium with loss of millions in Monroe County.

Mr. Feldman would like to meet with you on this matter before you’ve made a final decision on issuing the permit for North Big Pine Key.

Thanks for your consideration,

Tom Walker

Tom G. Walker, P.E.

Manager of engineering
florida keys aqueduct authority



Some comic relief tried to raise its ugly head yesterday via writers workshop advice from former Key West vicious van dweller criminal Shadharoba Rodd:

just stuff. this critique comes from my past, when I attended a literary session of would-be authors. they would read an excerpt of what they had written and then some more polished, published person would dissect the effort in order to strive for linguistic perfection.
one wannbe wrote, and orally read, “….I thought to myself…”. When it was the critic’s turn, the author was told, “leave out the words ‘to myself’ because you can’t think to someone else. ‘to myself’ are unneeded and useless.”
so, Sloan, I say you should go back to your most recent blog you sent to me and scan down to the 4th line in the 2nd paragraph, and you’ll find the words ‘I thought to myself’. In the future you should write “I thought…..”.
that’s the end of your literary lesson for today.

p.s. on 2nd thought, think about this phrase “behave yourself”. When it is spoken to you or another.. well, it is also unnecessary because you can’t behave anyone else but yourself. You can’t behave me, and I can’t behave you. So in the future you should say (or write) only the word BEHAVE. 🙂


I replied:

Well, you’re right, of course. I should say, I said to myself. Even so, I’m often thinking to myself, the angels, other people, without actually speaking from my mouth; and I’m just as often speaking to myself out loud, and to the angels and to other people when nobody else is around. This is so hugely important that I might spend the rest of my life on it and let the chicken shit stuff pass silently by. Behave is something else I can spend the rest of my life on, given how hard it is for me to do it. I don’t imagine you are behaving yourself up there in Jacksonville all that much, either; unless, you wuz born again, or had a lobotomy, or are sucking up to get something back – none of which seem terribly likely to me.

Ciao maim,

Sloan blue

Sloan Bashinsky

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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