“SLANDER” or THE FACTS?
FORMAL ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GEORGE NEUGENT
by Rick Boettger
I have recently reported that I was filing an ethics complaint with the State of Florida against George Neugent. It charges him with using his power as County Commissioner to affect the awarding of a contract to his friends. At the August 4 Hometown PAC candidates’ forum, he charged me twice with “slander” when questioned about my reporting.
Neugent is thus forcing me to make public the full complaint that I have mailed to the state ethics commission. While the commission by its charter must keep its investigation confidential until resolved, they explicitly state that either the filer or subject of the complaint may say anything they want about it.
The complaint itself is 2,800 words long, accompanied by 16 exhibits adding another 50 pages. You may read as much of it as you wish. The exhibits are public records and Neugent’s own words: emails, media quotes, transcripts of county commission meetings, and his sworn deposition in the county’s years-long losing litigation against SUFA.
Judge for yourself whether his own words and the public record support my charges. To squeeze 58 pages of argument down to a paragraph, here’s what he did: While Stand Up for Animals (SUFA) was negotiating in good faith for a renewal of its animal control contract with the county, being the only bidder on that contract after having had it for eight years of highly-praised service, Neugent suggested to a friend that she form a competing nonprofit to get the contract. He met with a disgruntled SUFA employee to get incorrect criticism of SUFA, making no attempt to get SUFA’s side of the story. He coveted the $ 240,000 endowment SUFA had accumulated largely from grants and donations. He encouraged the illegal audit that froze SUFA’s funds and put them out of business. He himself slandered SUFA’s director Linda Gottwald in various media, telling outright lies about her and her and her business. And much more.
Again, it is impossible to put 58 pages into a quick read. If you care to judge the facts, please take some time with the linked documentation. At the Hometown forum, Neugent told the same kind of lie about me that he told the commission and media about SUFA. He charged them with having no Monroe County directors on their board. This was an outright lie, as the attached Exhibit 13, SUFA’s annual corporate report shows: the majority of directors lived in Monroe. Similarly, Neugent lied about me. He dismissed my reporting as my working for his Republican opponent, Danny Coll, perhaps even being his campaign manager.
In point of fact, I of course support anyone running against Neugent, due to what I detail as his unethical actions. But I have not contacted Danny Coll in any way since the prior election in 2010, nor do I have any relation to his campaign. Coll verifies this, and states he in fact has no campaign manager at all. That is George Neugent: while accusing me of slander, he tells an outright and easily disprovable lie about me on the public record, out there on YouTube for all the world to see.
Please, use these links to judge George Neugent for yourself:
Click here for ETHICS COMPLAINT
Exh 1 – 7/29/2010 email Baggs to Neugent
Exh 2 – Neugent depo pgs 22 and 79
Exh 5 – Neugent depo pgs 88-89
Exh 6 – 8/5/2010 email Braggs to Neugent
Exh 7 – Neugent depo pgs 23-24
Exh 8 – Exh 8 Neugent depo pgs 25-27
Exh 10 – 8/5/2010 email Neugent and Braggs
Exh 11 – Neugent Facebook and Neugent depo
Exh 12 – 8/18/2010 BOCC meeting transcript
Exh 14 – 8/10/2010 News Barometer article
Exh 15a – 12/7/2010 SHARK removal of officers
Exh 15b – 12/3/2010 Key West The Newspaper article
Exh 16 – Neugent depo pgs 49-50 and 45