Walton County Commissioner Brannon accused of ethics violations

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Alan Osborne, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. litiGator

    litiGator Beach Comber

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    Mr. Osborne I do applaud and appreciate your effort at creating transparency at all levels of government. In the vein, would you explain your reasoning above. If CWJ Holdings, bought 70 lots from the original developer, then how is CWJ any different from you as an owner? What benefit was conferred upon CWJ that wasn't also conferred upon you? Aren't you both just owners within the same subdivision? Doesn't CWJ benefit more from having the Driftwood brought into compliance? It would seem that a non-flooded Driftwood would be more beneficial to CWJ's property values than a flooded Driftwood. Thanks in advance for the explanation.

    Also, could you also explain how any benefit to CWJ would benefit Commissioner Brannon as a member of Freeport Group, LLC? Do you know what Freeport Group, LLC does? Are you saying that when CWJ sales its property in Driftwood, that Mr. Jones, its sole member, then cuts a check to Freeport Group LLC to share his profits with the other members of Freeport Group, LLC? That doesn't make much tax or business sense...? Does it?

    I really appreciate any light you can further shed on your grievance stated above.

    One final question...if you aren't on a witchhunt and you believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty, then why did you decide to present your claim in a public meeting and to Channel 7 News before a formal investigation could be concluded on the matter? Haven't you already convicted Commissioner Brannon in the eyes of the public prior to the conclusion of any official investigation? Or do you have evidence of a substantial connection between the business of CWJ and Freeport Group that is conclusive?

    With Warmest Regards,

    Sam Story
     
  2. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    Here you go, taking all the fun out of this again.:funn:
     
  3. litiGator

    litiGator Beach Comber

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    Awww wRobert...this is what makes it fun. Hope the week is treating you well.

    Best,

    Sam
     
  4. Santiago

    Santiago Beach Fanatic

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    You're right Sam Story, since Brannon does not directly own part of the Driftwood property in question, he would get no benefit from his association with the principal, wink wink. I'm sure that he wouldn't feel any allegience to the principal when voting on the Driftwood matter. Assuming that you are an adult, I'm sure that you can see that this situation smells. As far as the first question, in many cases developers sell lump sums of lots to other developers who in effect, become the defacto developer. This is done for many reasons and is typically part of a quid pro quo arrangement. I doubt that Jones needed 70 lots for a homestead. In fact, if enough research were done, you might find that Olson has purchased in one or more of Jones' developments. I know Alan and understand why he is doing this. He's not a personal friend, partner or anything like that. He's pissed because this is BS. I hope to God that he is only beginning his crusade because speaking for what I believe is a large faction of the county and country, its(corruption has) gotten out of hand.
     
  5. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    It sure took him long enough to begin recusing himself. ;-)
     
  6. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I guess not everyone attends the County Commissioner Mtgs. Oh, well. I guess late is better than never. Sorry I missed the last one -- and people say County Gov't is boring. It's better than any prime-time television, at least more entertaining.
     
  7. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    At least our commissioners are trying to make a living without separating me from more of my tax dollars. ( see Don Amunds in Okaloosa) I think someone should have far more proof than a list of who a commissioner does businesswith before they accuse that commissioner of being a crook. Just because Brannon owns a part of a business along with Jones does not mean Brannon is profiting from Jones' Driftwood deal. This whole thing smells like sour grapes to me from someone who cannot convince the BCC to do what they want. My gosh, by your reasoning my ownership of AIG stock makes me guilty of all this bailout mess. LOLOLOL
     
  8. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    idlewind, I don't believe a Commissioner has to profit in order from them to recuse him or herself. If I am a Commissioner, and I have a business partner, with ABC, LLC, and that partner has full interest in CDE, LLC, and an issue affecting CDE,LLC is brought before me to vote, by law, I am to recuse myself from the matter.

    Just because one case is less offensive than another, it doesn't make it right, does it?
     
  9. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    By that logic no one who is successful or has a large family should be a commissioner because in both cases they will have multiple conflicts. I may be naive, but I would hope someone could see issues for what they are. I guess it is beyond the realm of possibility that the BCC might think that they are right and the Driftwood HOA is wrong based on honest opinions? I guess if someone does not agree with me, then by definition they must be a crook.:bang::bang:
     
  10. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    The appearance of a conflict of interest is just as bad as an actual conflict of interest. It is one of the reasons we have our Sunshine Laws.
     
  11. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    I guess the flip side is that if there is no appearance of illegalities, then we should not worry......wait, isn't that what is going on in Okaloosa County.:floor::floor::floor:
    We elect people knowing what they bring to the table.
     
  12. teamc

    teamc Beach Lover

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    alan, i am SO impressed with your commitment. i hope you see justice, but in the meantime, keep making people uncomfortable.
    i got shivers when i read the description of events.
    i'm sorry, but it's scary how the culture of unethical behavior is so pervasive here. they're not even the slightest bit embarrassed! they're indignant in addition to being incompetent and criminal. that's ok. i'm mortified FOR them.
     
  13. litiGator

    litiGator Beach Comber

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    Assume nothing...I am not even human.

    As the saying goes, correllation is not causation. I fail to see an agency. What smells is the stagnant water in Driftwood that wafts among the CWJ and the Osborne alike.
     
  14. Alan Osborne

    Alan Osborne Beach Lover

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    Here goes your answer

    Don't know you Sam but here goes,

    1. Never said CWJ Holdings did any thing wrong or Mr Jones.

    2. According to the develpmental order, the area where CWJ holdings has lots, is my neighborhoods designated lakes and open area.
    My plat was recorded in 1979 and CWJ's part was platted after I bought my House. That's my drainage area according to the master plan.

    3. CWJ's lots must become a lake or open area for full compliance. Plat must be abandoned for that to happen.

    4. There will never be a non flooded driftwood without this area being returned to its original intent and about 5 million dollars worth of drainage improvements.(Which the county doesn't have)
    My part of the neighborhood paid for a multi-million dollar MSBU drainage fix, that part of the neighborhood ruined. (No CWJ or Mr. Jones didn't do it, but I want the developer held responsible.)

    Part 2

    1. Mr Jones is a partner with Mr. Brannon in the Freeport Group LLC and another LLC. I never said checks were being cut or would be cut to anybody.
    But the statute is clear in our opinion on relationships.

    Florida Statute
    112.3143 Voting conflicts.--
    (4) No appointed public officer shall participate in any matter which would inure to the officer's special private gain or loss; which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which he or she is retained; or which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer, without first disclosing the nature of his or her interest in the matter.


    Commissioner Brannon did participate in votes that affected the property owned by CWJ holdings. (see the BCC minutes) Is Mr. Jones a business associate of Mr. Brannon? According to the LLC's annual report on Sun Biz, the answer is yes. The benefit is, it will save the interior lot owners a lengthy battle against the developer at our neighborhoods expense. Money does not have anything to do with it. Was it disclosed in the meetings or after the vote in writing?
    No, as far as I can tell. What part of shall participate in any Matter is confusing?:dunno:

    Sam, I have spoken to Mr. Brannon and will give him time to answer after talking with his council. If you came to the meeting, I think you'll see I made much more serious allegations aganst a State official and have some more for some county staff. I have offered and been available to talk to any of the commissioners any time outside of the public meeting's but have been basically stonewalled for years about any real answers, so our Board did it the only place left available. The BCC meeting. By the way, I recieved a unamious vote from the 170+ owners who feel Driftwood has been handled improperly by the developer, the County and the State. It's not just me, we're tired of it.

    Even if Brannon made a mistake, it's a misdemeanor punishable by a 500 dollar fine as long as he doesn't deny it. It seems the press is worse than the punishment. I have appeared 25+ times before the BCC, they had a fair shot at other solutions. They chose poorly IMO.

    Sam, you muddied the waters with things I didn't say at the meeting. Too bad they cut my freedom of speech off with Mr. Brannon as the last subject, it left him in the spotlight when there was so much more written evidence I had regarding other staff that is far worse. I only get about ten minutes per meeting so I'll feed them this pie one 10 minute slice at the time.

    Alan
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  15. Alan Osborne

    Alan Osborne Beach Lover

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    Larry has properly recused himself IMO.
     
  16. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    I find Sunbiz.org to be extremely enlightening and very reliable. I have personally seen people deny business relationships even when a 3-minute records search makes it clear that they are not telling the truth.

    Whatever the outcome in this case, I admire anyone willing to pay attention enough to research these issues and, when it appears necessary, file the appropriate complaints.
     
  17. teamc

    teamc Beach Lover

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    and yet more creepiness.
     
  18. Santiago

    Santiago Beach Fanatic

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    You've outdone me. I can't argue with that logic.
     
  19. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Why are people attacking Alan?

    There is no secret agenda or vendetta here - he has even taken exception to Brannon being singled out. His goal is for our local government to be honest and for our government's promises to its citizens be honored.

    Commissioner Brannon failed to recuse himself from hearings in which he had a clear conflict of interest. Another commissioner who had a potential conflict (or appearance of one) recused himself.

    Who thinks that someone who is legally partnered with someone in 2 or more businesses shouldn't recuse themselves when an issue dealing with that person is bought before them?
     
  20. Alan Osborne

    Alan Osborne Beach Lover

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    Sorry, idlewind

    I know you have supported some of my views, but I accused no one of being a crook. I posted my reply to Sam Story. The connection is clear and I presented the proof. I'm sorry I offended you.
    Alan
     

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