Sep 112015
 

Issue 115 Acevedo FKAA for webby Naja and Arnaud Girard**…….

UPDATE:  9/18/2015

Click here for updated article: State Attorney Challenges FKAA Chairman’s Right To Vote In Key West Elections

As of Thursday afternoon, the office of the Monroe County State Attorney has begun investigating the Chairman of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority [FKAA] Board of Directors.

J Robert Dean (aka Bob Dean), the man who for years has been presiding over a board that commands a $50 million annual operating budget and over $200 Million in Keys central sewer construction contracts, may have been lying about having the right to his seat on the FKAA board.

If confirmed, the fraud would also involve Mr. Dean’s right to vote in Key West elections and, as it turns out, his right to a seat on another mysterious multimillion dollar board: The Key West Housing Authority.

It all started last week with the controversial resignation of another FKAA board member: Melva Wagner.

The claim was that Ms. Wagner no longer lived in the Florida Keys (a violation of the state’s enabling statute that governs FKAA). She tried, with the support of FKAA’s attorney, to deny the accusation, but by the end of the week even her own [former] neighbors had made public affirmations that Wagner and her family had moved to Naples for good over a year ago. She resigned.

Now the same claim is made against Chairman Dean himself. However, in his case, the consequences could be much more dire.

In 2005, Mr. Dean was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to represent the Key West district on the FKAA Board of Directors. Last week a Blue Paper article pointed out that Mr. Dean has a homestead exemption for his Key Haven home. If Dean lives outside city limits he is not eligible to represent Key West. Mr. Dean however claims that he lives on Bahama Street, behind his Key West funeral home.

“Are we really expected to believe,” asks Colby Fisher, who has been investigating job fixing allegations at FKAA for the past year, “that Mr. Dean lives at 417 Bahama Street with at least 5 other people [based on names found on front porch mailboxes] while his 80 year old wife lives alone in a house outside the Key West city limits?”

Colby Fisher observed that there are two mailboxes at 417 Bahama Street. However, the two paper tags affixed to the boxes are attributed to other people, not Robert Dean.

But his position on the FKAA board may not be Mr. Dean’s main problem. The issue is compounded by the fact that, even though he and his wife claim a homestead in Key Haven, Robert Dean is registered to vote in Key West.

“Homestead,” said Supervisor of Elections, Joyce Griffin, “should normally determine where you vote. Voting rules and homestead rules are kind of joined together. If he is voting out of his precinct, it is a criminal offense.”

On Wednesday, her office mailed Dean a voter information card asking him to state whether or not he lives in Key West. “The criteria for us is basically where do you sleep,” says Ms. Griffin.

So where does Mr. Dean sleep at night? In the past he has answered the question with, “that’s a personal matter.”

Joyce Griffin said the issue had been brought up before, when she was the assistant to the Supervisor of Elections. “The only thing we did back then was to call him and ask, ‘Do you live in Key West?’ – and he said he did.”

“His car is registered in Key Haven, the address on his driver’s license is in Key Haven,” says Randy Pekarik, the Homestead investigator for the Monroe County Property Appraiser. “Utilities are all in his name [at the Key Haven home]. I don’t know about the voting rules, but as far as homestead goes, it is pretty clear he lives in Key Haven, not in Key West.”

We also found Florida Department of Corporations records that show Dean has consistently given his personal address, as a corporate officer for both of his businesses, as his home on Key Haven. [See Here and here] Likewise, his current license as a funeral director gives his personal address as his Key Haven home.

In Florida, voting outside the district where you reside is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to 5 years in prison. So why did he do it? Why would Mr. Dean expose himself to – even giving the impression of – such impropriety?

If our information is correct, Bob Dean has spent about 26 years serving on the FKAA board. However, he was out of the picture from early 2001 through 2004 when the legislative mandate to sewer the Keys began being implemented. FKAA was designing over 200 million dollars worth of public works projects that would be funded with public money.

Battles erupted over who would control all that money and Mr. Dean was rushed back in, in 2005, through the open Key West, district 3, seat.

The rhetoric at the time was virulent:

“What we have here,” said State Representative Ken Sorenson [in 2005], “is a board that has the right to go out and bond unlimited millions of dollars, which become the obligation of the Monroe County taxpayer. The complaint is that they are not accountable.”

There is little doubt that the same distrust for FKAA and the more recent public outcry regarding lack of transparency about hiring practices, awarding of grinder pump contracts, use of shallow injection wells, and public records responses, is the wind behind the current attack on its chairman.

Tolerating board member Melva Wagner’s repeated telephonic appearances for board meetings for the better part of a year is representative of the questionable practices that have been ongoing at FKAA under Chairman Dean’s direction.

Last week, State Attorney Catherine Vogel sent correspondence to District 1 board member Cara Higgins, pointing out that, under Florida’s Sunshine Law, Ms. Wagner should have been allowed to attend telephonically only in case of medical necessity.

“… my reading of the [Attorney General’s] opinion suggests mere inconvenience is not a sufficient circumstance,” wrote Ms. Vogel.

[Could this possibly nullify the board’s decisions during those sessions?]

To make matters worse, Mr. Dean also sits on the board of the Key West Housing Authority, which under City Code section 38.117, requires all members to be “permanent residents and electors of the city.”

If Mr. Dean is living in Key Haven, he certainly doesn’t qualify to be on the Housing Authority board either, but then again three of the other four members of that board don’t reside in Key West either. In fact, two of them live in … Key Haven.

But that is a story for another Friday…

———

**Special thanks to Colby Fisher who assisted with research and the collection of documentation material.

 

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Arnaud and Naja Girard
Arnaud and Naja Girard, publishers and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Additionally the Girards have become well known for their in-depth investigations into local governments' sometimes questionable dealings with high dollar developers. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.
 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:52 am * Featured Story *, Issue #131, Naja and Arnaud Girard  Add comments

  68 Responses to “FKAA Board Chairman Under Criminal Investigation”

  1. Yes, Citizen 101, I am a lawyer, I once did practice law, in Alabama. Then angels got hold of me, and now what I am is not comprehensible to who I was when I was a lawyer, nor to you, nor to a whole lot of people. You dragged karma is a bitch into this discussion, then you dragged wolves into it. I know a pack of wolves the likes of which you cannot imagine, who actually are battle angels running with Archangel Michel, who appears as a great eagle in that dimension. They have very different ways of doing things. Maybe they are now on this case, since you brought wolves into this discussion. If you wish to aspire to be like Ed Swift and Jim Hendrick, that’s your choice. Quite a few times have I heard people who are respected in Key West say neither man has a moral compass.

  2. Sloan,
    the angels, meaning the board of directors that speak to you in your dreams right??? I think you are a very confused individual. However, in one of your posts I seemed to have found, you talk about being homeless at one point. Did someone perhaps buy your silence? When you speak of how your brother committed suicide because of being gay you just sound like you’re trying to convince yourself and everyone else to buy into the story.

    You just keep over selling it. I think there is something fishy in Bham and perhaps Key West too with you. I think as a writer, you’re full of shit. You want the spotlight off of you but weren’t you a suspect in his murder for a while? Oh, I’m sorry I mean suicide …. right? Everyone can do research Mr. Sloan and everyone has skeletons. Mr. Dean is a damn good man that has wonderful kids and amazing grandkids. To say “you hope he goes to prison” is a horrible thing to say, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone unless they murder someone or hurt children or animals … oh look it there haha I seemed to have done it again. So shouldn’t you be locked up? oh but wait you didn’t do it, he killed himself for being gay, I’m sorry I forgot ha.

    (Note from editor: Sorry, Citizen 101. Took out the last line. Perhaps a little less profanity?

    • Naja must be doing some Facebook stalking of bob dean ha!!! And I thought it was freedom of speech ?? Just like you …. And now you want to erase some of what I write because it says a cuss word ? Hmmmm some Hippocrates you guys are.

  3. Naja, let her run, let her show herself fully to your readers, profanity is part of life.

    Citizen 101. I was living in Key West, and was in Key West, as many people knew, when my brother went missing in Birmingham in early 2010. I had not been in Birmingham since late 2008. Yes, wingnuts accused me of being in on it, and you have joined them. Congratulations. I published many times, back then, that he was bisexual, he was married, twice, two children by the first wife, I had believed two children by the second wife, but years later, from one of his children by the first wife, that his children by his second wife were from different male sperm donors in California. He once had told me they were going out to California for fertility help, but not the details. I thought maybe his 2nd wife was infertile. We had not spoken since right after my father’s death and memorial service in early September 2006. I published that the day I learned of his going missing, it was revealed to me that he had killed himself and had tried to make it look like murder. When I shared that with a journalist from Birmingham, who had called me in KW to interview me, he said cold chills were running up and down his spine because the same thoughts had come to him just before he called me. I didn’t know the journalist, he had called a friend of mine in Birmingham to ask if he thought I might be interested in being interviewed about Major and our father’s company, since a letter, anonymous, showing up in sensitive places in Birmingham, hand delivered mostly, not mailed, into mail boxes, was about the company and its dividend policy, which seemed to have been written by an educated person who knew the company. I actually shared the views of the letter writer, and told the journalist that when he called me, after my friend had called to see if I would do the interview, and I said sure, have the journalist call me. It wasn’t long afterward that I understood what had driven my brother to kill himself: someone who knew he was bisexual was going to out him and there was nothing he could do about it. He was living two lives, and his straight relations had no clue he was bisexual, which I had known for many years. Turned out, I learned some years later, he also was in a lot of debt, and he had taken out a very big life insurance policy on his life, payable to his second wife, who ended up, I was told, with all of the insurance proceeds – several million dollars. The person who told me was in a position to know. As it turned out, the local coroner (medical examiner), and the city police detective assigned to the case, both, some weeks after his body was found in a public golf course pond maybe 2 weeks after he had gone missing, ruled it was suicide made to look like murder. That was reported in the Birmingham newspapers. I was never contacted by law enforcement about it, even though I made it known to them that I might be able to help them figure out what had happened, and why. The FBI was involved, and later I got its redacted file and saw they had no problem with the suicide finding. Heck, the gun found in the pond under his body was the same make and model, a rare Browning .32 automatic pistol, as was then found to be in a plastic display case in the den of my father’s home, then lived in by his widow, my stepmother. It would be just like my brother to see that pistol and then find and buy one just like it for himself. As far as I know, I have no skeletons in my closet, which I did not publish and put into the sunlight. I have been blasted by different well meaning friends, and unfriendly people, for laying myself naked in public. If you really read my old posts at my websites, you know I lay myself bare. You are protesting way too much, Citizen 101, for Bob Dean. I don’t want Dean locked up over where he lives. I want him locked up for what he did to all those people and Mother Nature in Cudjoe Regional Sewer District. But since that won’t happen, if he gets locked over the blue paper article, then that will have to do. I doubt I am hardly the only blue paper reader you have caused to wonder what about Dean we don’t know, which might be a tad more volatile than what the blue paper published? As for my being homeless, not only have I been homeless, I am homeless now. I sleep nights at KOTS. I have published that many times. I published it again today: http://goodmorningkeywest.com/?p=32210 , “even cowgirls get the blues – Key West local, national and species recovery spa”, in which I again gave this blue paper article and reader comments, thanks to you, Citizen 101, top billing.

  4. Get that prison ready on Tortugas. Gee, even in my state of New York I don’t see the the high degree of arrogance that exists in the Public Boards and School Boards in the Keys. WOW !

    • It is criminal the way Key West operates. Of course not everyone but too many of these Bubbas are running amuck and when they get caught up in their illegal activities and exposed they all have the same response. “F–k You” and typically that is enough for the subject matter to go away.

      Mr. Dean needs to be investigated and, if needed, prosecuted. I’d like to see him pay back the taxpayers of Key West for his salaries collected while misrepresenting and/or fabricating the evidence crucial to holding these positions.

      on a side note about Bubbas: How is Joe “weed” Clements still an employee of the school district? Felony drug charges and operating an illegal sports betting ring are A OK with the school district? Perhaps the salaries spreadheet is dated and does not reflect his removal, if this is the case then it is an oversight by the board. If not can we find out what the deal is? Even Mark Rossi has banned him from the Rick’s compound, maybe just because he sang like a bird to save his own hide.

  5. I am so dead to the world right now !!!! Lmmfaoooo !!!!!!!!!!!! Naja, youre contradicting as hell and I think today is the best day ever XD

  6. I think we should get back to the real issue that started this thread which is the FKAA and County Commission and their attempt to put in shallow wells and grinder pumps when we were asked to vote for the 1 cent infrastructure sales tax to fund a decent central sewer system. First, they knew they should have a deep well and then manipulated data to just slide under that requirement. Then they spent a good bit of that money on pet projects and chose the cheapest and most dangerous system. That’s the issue in a nutshell. We been had. Pay attention now or pay big time later.

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