Blog Archives

Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment For Eimers Family

Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment In Favor of Eimers Family

by Naja and Arnaud Girard [SEE VIDEO DEPOSITIONS BELOW] Attorneys in the federal wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against KWPD officers and the City of Key West were heard for the first time before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions. In their motion the family accuses Defendants of perjury and destruction of evidence. The City filed a 24-page response to try to curb the damage done by an unexpected video that appears to contradict sworn statements made…

Issue 58 Mr and Mrs Smith for web

Mortgage Fraud Investigation of FDLE Agent Kathy Smith Ongoing

by Naja and Aranud Girard The home that landed FDLE Agent Kathy Smith in the center of a mortgage fraud investigation is now being foreclosed on. We learned this week that on December 15, 2014, Capital One N.A. filed a foreclosure action against the home on 1 Emerald Drive in Big Coppitt. According to a local financial analyst [who asked to remain anonymous] any potential charges that may be filed against Agent Smith could become more serious if the lender ends up suffering…

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KEY WEST: CAPITAL OF BIKE CRASHES, Locals Talk About What To Do

by Naja and Arnaud Girard The worst picture you could ever imagine of your car would probably be the one where it’s stopped in the middle of the highway, at night, with the handlebars of a bicycle sticking out from beneath your tires. “I didn’t see him. A guy on a scooter just started yelling at me….So I looked over there.” the driver told us. He said he just heard the kid bump the car and out of the darkness a…

Wisteria Island

Last Minute Moratorium Saves Offshore Islands From Deregulation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard The elephant was back in the room during last Wednesday’s County Commission meeting. Its name is Wisteria Island, but everyone pretended they were innocently debating the issue of restrictive development on offshore islands without ever mentioning the $100 Million + aspirations that Roger Bernstein has for the famous desert island in Key West harbor. What had occurred was a remarkable exercise in special interest maneuvering followed closely by counter measures made by opponents. Let us explain….

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Medical Examiner Admits He May Have Been Misled by FDLE’s Agent Kathy Smith / Key West Marches For Police Accountability

by Naja and Arnaud Girard By the final days of 2014, the in-custody death of Charles Eimers had left many Key Westers with an uneasy feeling. “It’s as though every agency we rely on,” said community advocate Christine Russel, “failed, one after the other, to shed any light on what happened. Instead, the cloud over that man’s death has only gotten bigger and darker.”

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A Look Back: Top Stories in 2014

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Old Man Chapman What became of Old Man Chapman – the one man lighted parade – who goes up and down Duval Street on his musical tricycle? Thousands of people read our story of how Mr. Chapman was seemingly conned out of his family home [the home his father had built with his own hands] and was about to become homeless. Locals organized fundraisers, Key Westers and tourists from as far as Japan sent in…

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For “Lying” About Killing Charles Eimers

by Naja and Arnaud Girard KWPD Chief Donie Lee published the department’s Internal Affairs review of Charles Eimers’ in-custody death on Monday. Officers were found to have acted professionally while using techniques that are proper for “actively resisting subjects.” “I thought denial was a river in Egypt. Now we learn it is an island at the end of U.S. 1.” [Citizen’s Voice, Key West Citizen, 12/10/2014] An unarmed man kneeling on the sand with his hands up, lays on his stomach…

Issue 43 Charles Eimers for FB

Officer Lovette’s Taser Recording Undergoes Enhanced Forensic Scrutiny / New Admissions Detected Regarding the Alleged Tasing of Charles Eimers

by Arnaud and Naja Girard… According to KWPD there was no Taser fired during the fatal arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day of last year. But after a few months of forensic clean-up and enhancement by the Eimers family’s legal team, Officer Lovette’s infamous taser recording speaks again and it’s not pretty: Officer Lovette:  “Listen. I tased a motherf***er in custody today. I don’t care. I already called my PBA rep.” Unknown person: “For what?” Officer Lovette:  [unintelligible] when you…

Trauma Star

Emergency Helo to Miami: $66,000 or free…

“First I said I didn’t want to take the helo,” says Ellen Engleson, who had arrived at Lower Keys Medical Center with a broken femur, “I was concerned about the cost.”   She was right.  After being heliported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Ellen received a bill for $ 59,000 from LifeNet, a for-profit medical emergency helicopter service. She has since learned that the hospital in Key West could have made the choice to send her for free, in the…

Issue 86 Ebola Rats web

Ebola: Are We Ready?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “What do you think? Of course we are preparing for the possibility of the Ebola virus.” That was Randy Detrick last Tuesday. Detrick is the PR Director for Lower Keys Medical Center.  What The Blue Paper wanted to know was whether our local hospital has the necessary isolation units and whether it is stocked with the full protective gear which could have saved Dallas hospital nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson from contracting the Ebola…

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Monroe County’s Secret Roadmap To Resegregation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma.  Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus.  Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American.  Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data]. When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about…

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk for web

Could Key West Reach The Ferguson Flashpoint?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.” Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He…

Kaeden Murphy, 3 yrs old; Photo by Richard Watherwax

The Case of Matthew Murphy: Another Cover-up?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard 8:30 on a Saturday morning.  It’s already hot and with no AC in the car it’s going to get a whole lot hotter by the time we get into Miami. At her mother’s tiny apartment on Olivia Street, Mary Annuylsse is getting 3-year old Kaeden Murphy ready to go see his dad, Matthew, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  As we reported in previous articles, Matthew Murphy has been stuck in a hospital bed ever since he…

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The Keys’ Dirty Little Secret

by Naja and Arnaud Girard According to some irritated homeowners, two lower Florida Keys sewage treatment plant operators are playing dirty tricks in their permit applications to inject over a million gallons a day of sewage into shallow injection wells on Cudjoe Key and Stock Island. They claim that FKAA is using unrealistic old data projections from 2008, advertised it’s legal notices to Monroe County residents in Lee and Broward Counties and would have you believe that “we drink water…

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Last Day at Chapman’s House

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Whether ‘Old Man Chapman’ will finally be swindled out of his house is no longer up for debate.  Last Monday a red 8” X 6” legal notice was taped to his door at 221 Petronia Street.  It read:  “Final Notice of Eviction” and directed the Monroe County Sheriff to remove any person from the premises on Tuesday. “It’s tomorrow. Tuesday is tomorrow,” said Chapman on the phone,  “Where am I going to put my things? …

Goombay Festival 2010, click for video

Goombay: Another Betrayal?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Conspiracy theories are running wild over the City Commission’s decision to give control of the African-Caribbean Goombay Festival to a group dominated by white businessmen.  “This decision was a slap in the face,” says Glenwood Lopez. He is Chairman of a group supported by eleven Bahama Village non-profit organizations that came together to reclaim the event. “They took away the 6.6 acres and now it’s Goombay,” says David, a resident of Bahama Village. One belief…

Peter Pan

Homeless in Key West: Old Man Chapman, Captain Tilly, and Peter Pan

by Arnaud and Naja Girard This is the first in a series of articles on affordable housing and homelessness in Key West and the Florida Keys.  We will try to look past the anti-homeless rhetoric burning through local media and show you what is really happening on the Keys housing front. In future articles we will bring you points of view and solutions proposed by some of the most knowledgeable people on the Island.

issue 55 volunteer fire for web

Some Burning Questions About Offshore Islands

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Sore throats, red eyes, Old Town storeowners worried about the smell of smoke on their garments, sailboats evacuated… One way or another a lot of people were affected last week by the fire raging on Wisteria Island.  The Key West Fire Department had given up the fight on Monday and the fire continued on, burning through trees for six days.  In the end the flames were extinguished only after a group of volunteers took the…

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BOCC: We Have No Legal Obligation To Take Care of Derelict Vessels

Naja and Arnaud Girard There’s finally an explanation as to why nothing was done to keep the Tug Tilly from sinking.  A lot has been said and written about the Tug Tilly:  the controversial sale of a 150-ton scrapyard-ready tugboat to a homeless man, its subsequent floundering while abandoned two miles south of Key West about a month ago, the hundreds of gallons of engine oil spilled into the ocean and the enormous looming wreck removal costs.  And with that,…

Bahama Village Rendering Florida Atlantic University

Is Bahama Village Being Dispossessed of It’s 6.6 Acres At Truman Waterfront?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “The City is derailing a plan which would be good, not just for Bahama Village, but for all of Key West,” says Bob Kelly, a longtime advocate for Bahama Village, Key West’s predominantly black neighborhood, “A vibrant Bahamian community in the Village would be an extraordinary asset to the Key West tourism economy.” A plan had been designed by local architect Bert Bender for the extension of the Village into the Truman Waterfront, the 33-acre parcel…

issue 47 scapegoat for web

The Case of The Mysterious Water Contamination

by Naja and Arnaud Girard In early December when water testing in Key West harbor showed off-the-chart numbers for fecal contaminants, the city rounded up the usual suspects:  the boaters.  Them again!  Certainly they were polluting the harbor by not using mandatory holding tanks and new regulations for offshore liveaboards were swiftly introduced.  But the data collected by The Blue Paper tells a very different story. Between November 19 and December 3, the city conducted two weeks of testing in eleven…

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Roosevelt Boulevard Watch: Boy Are We In Trouble [May 2013]

by Naja and Arnaud Girard An investigation into Roosevelt Boulevard construction documents shows a pattern of absenteeism, insufficient crew, lack of supplies, shoddy work and indifference to City inspectors’ remarks.  It also raises serious questions about FDOT’s cozy relationship with the contractor. Key West The Newspaper received hundreds of pages of emails and reports from the City of Key West’s utility department.  The documents relate to the $ 4.5 Million 24” sewer force main that is being replaced beneath the…