Voters Have the Opportunity to Remove State Attorney Catherine Vogel From Office in November

Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D
Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D


Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper…….

Election Day this year is November 8. That may seem like a long time away, but it’s not too early to remind you that State Attorney Catherine Vogel– in my opinion the most corrupt state attorney in recent memory– is up for reelection. It’s not too early to remind voters of her on-purpose incompetence in “prosecuting” the Key West police officers who allegedly murdered 62-year-old Charles Eimers on the beach here on Thanksgiving Day 2013. And it’s not too early to remind voters that she refused to prosecute another Key West cop after his 10-year-old step-daughter told investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that he repeatedly fondled her breasts and forced her to put her hand on his penis.

The Eimers case: The retired auto worker from Michigan had allegedly left the scene of a traffic stop on North Roosevelt Boulevard and several police officers had participated in a “slow speed chase,” following him through town. When he ran out of road at the southern end of Duval Street, a tourist’s video showed what happened next. More than a dozen officers, some with guns drawn, approached the car and ordered Eimers to exit the vehicle and lie face-down on the beach. The video showed that Eimers complied immediately. He did not resist in any way. Then, several officers piled on top of him. A witness said that the cops were holding Eimers’ face in the sand. By the time the cops got off his back, he had lost consciousness. After a week on life support in the hospital, he was declared dead.

To cover the cops’ questionable behavior, the initial police reports– sworn under oath– said that Eimers had tried to run away from the police and had collapsed on the beach. That story later changed to resisting arrest. You might assume that the cops may have felt comfortable falsifying their sworn-under-penalty-of-perjury reports because they didn’t know about the video. Wrong. They had obtained a copy of the video– but they did not enter it into evidence until The Blue Paper also obtained a copy and published it! Also, it didn’t help the cops’ fabricated story when an audio recording was discovered on which one of the cops admitted, “I dropped like a fucking bomb on his head!” And the same cop added, “We killed him.” Was that officer fired from the Key West Police Department and put on trial for murder. No. But he was given a five-day suspension.

In any event, State Attorney Vogel’s office did investigate the case, right? Wrong. But she did refer it to a Grand Jury to determine if the cops should face charges and be tried in a court of law. At this point, let me remind you of how the Grand Jury system works. The only lawyer who gets to ask the witnesses questions is the prosecutor, who works for the state attorney. In fact, the only witnesses the members of the Grand Jury even hear are those witnesses selected by the state attorney. No defense lawyers are even allowed in the room. That is why it is often said that any prosecutor should be able to convince any Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. Said another way, only the most incompetent state attorney might have to live with the humiliation of walking away from a Grand Jury without an indictment– unless, of course, the state attorney had no intention of going after an indictment in the first place. And that is what was happening in the Eimers case.

Vogel ordered her prosecutors to present the case for the defense– not the prosecution. For example, if Vogel were going to bring in a paid professional witness, you might think that she would bring in a witness to support the allegations– that the cops clearly used excessive force. She not only didn’t do that, she actually paid more than $4000 in taxpayer dollars to bring in a DEFENSE WITNESS– a guy named Chuck Joyner. Joyner specializes in defending officers accused of using excessive force. He is famous for defending a Houston police officer who shot and killed a wheelchair-bound double amputee. Joyner argued that because the one-armed, one-legged man was waving a ballpoint pen in the air, there was reasonable justification for the officer to shoot him in the face. In the case of the Grand Jury considering the Eimers case, the officers involved didn’t need defense lawyers to argue in their favor. State Attorney Vogel played that roll, in part by bringing in Joyner. She did not bother to bring in another professional witness to at least argue that a man whose face is being held in the sand for a long period of time is likely to die from asphyxiation. Go figure.

DARREN cemetery 13000 new 300 wideIn refusing to indict any of the officers involved in the Eimers death, members of the Grand Jury said that, in addition to being influenced by Joyner’s testimony, they were also influenced by the medical report of then-Medical Examiner E. Hunt Scheuerman who said that, during his autopsy, he found no sand in Eimers’ airway– which seemed to invalidate death by asphyxiation. But there is another side to that story that was apparently not presented to the Grand Jury by Vogel’s “prosecution” team. Scheuerman would later testify in an under-oath deposition that he initially relied on information from Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Kathy Smith– who didn’t bother to tell him that witnesses had reported that Eimers’ face was covered with sand and that he may have been tasered and that there was blood running out of his right ear. Kathy Smith is the ex-wife of former KWPD Captain Scott Smith, who was supervisor of police department operations at the time the Eimers incident occurred. Also, Vogel’s prosecutors apparently failed to point out to the Grand Jury that, by the time Eimers’ body was delivered to the medical examiner for autopsy, he had been on life support at the hospital for a week– so it is unlikely that Scheuerman would have found any sand in Eimers’ airway. In fact, Scheuerman wrote in his notes that he was aware that the deceased had been in the hospital for a week and that he was, therefore not surprised that there was no sand in his airway. But Vogel’s prosecutors also apparently “forgot” to report that to the Grand Jury. Go figure again.

Voters should also recall that, in spite of Vogel’s apparent on-purpose incompetence, the Key West City Commission agreed to pay the Eimers family $900,000!

Regular readers of the Blue Paper may recall that I have explained to you before why Vogel has a policy of protecting police officers from virtually any kind of prosecution. In many or even most cases she takes to court, she has to depend on police officers as witnesses. So it is not in her best interest to prosecute cops. It has been well documented that cops often lie on their sworn police reports which are later presented in court as truth. They do this to make themselves look good to superiors or cover up excessive force or other illegal behavior. And Vogel’s prosecutors know this– and in some cases, actually encourage falsified testimony in court. I can’t even remember the number of police reports I’ve read where the cop states that he “feared for his life”– after beating the snot out of a 120-pound guy during a routine traffic stop– and in the same affidavit, reports that, for some reason, his patrol car’s dashboard camera wasn’t working. In any event, falsifying sworn police reports is a crime– routinely ignored by Vogel and her prosecutors.

ed davidson campaignThe Eimers case is an example of State Attorney Vogel’s apparent policy of protecting cops– even alleged killer cops. But we also know that her policy also apparently covers cops who have been charged with child molestation. Consider the case of former KWPD police officer Henry Arroyo Jr. In 2013, the FDLE investigated allegations that Arroyo had repeatedly sexually molested his 10-year-old step daughter. During that investigation, the little girl was interviewed by law enforcement several times and her statements recorded. One of those interviews took place on April 24, 2014, with Vogel in the room. According to the FDLE report, here’s what the girl told Vogel and the others: Every week or so, Arroyo would slip out of the bed he shared with his wife, walk down the hall to his stepdaughter’s room and crawl into bed with her. He would fondle her breasts. Then he would take her hand and force her to touch his penis. The little girl said that, sometimes, she would get “sticky stuff” on her hand. At this point, can we assume that State Attorney Vogel was disgusted enough to vow to take Arroyo to trial and send him to prison? Apparently not.

Actually, Arroyo was arrested and subsequently resigned from the KWPD. But when the little girl got cold feet and told Vogel that she did not want to testify at trial, Vogel quickly dropped the case. A little too quickly, perhaps. Even without the little girl’s in-court testimony, Vogel’s TOP PRIORITY should have been to send Arroyo to jail to prevent him from molesting other little girls– at least for a few years. But apparently, that was NOT Vogel’s top priority! In child molestation cases, Florida law allows prosecutors to go to trial with only recorded under-oath statements from the victims– with those statements carrying the same weight in court as in-person testimony. But for some reason, Vogel did not choose to prosecute Arroyo using that option. Instead, she dropped the case! Maybe Vogel simply didn’t know about that option. If so, that would speak to her qualifications to be Monroe County’s state attorney. But if she did know about that option and didn’t use it to bring Henry Arroyo to justice– that’s even worse than ignorance! Of course, there is the possibility that, had Vogel taken Arroyo to trial, she may have also tried to find an expert witness to testify that it is perfectly okay for a cop to force his 10-year-old step-daughter into fondling his dick– as long as he is doing that in his role as parental sex educator!

What’s your opinion? Do you think that voters should remove State Attorney Catherine Vogel from office next November?




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15 thoughts on “Voters Have the Opportunity to Remove State Attorney Catherine Vogel From Office in November

  1. Vogel has two opponents, former State Attorney Dennis Ward, whom Vogel defeated in the 2012 race, and a Libertarian candidate, who, from his PR online, practices law in a mid-western state and the Florida Keys. Ward is Vogel’s only real opponent, in this former practicing attorney’s opinion.

    Ward himself started out as a policeman in the Miami Beach Police Department. It was my observation when he was state attorney that Ward was not inclined to prosecute law enforcement officers who broke the law. I don’t know how Ward would have handled the Charles Eimers case. He needs to be asked that at candidate forums.

    The KWPD officer recorded as saying he came down on Charles Eimers like a fucking bomb was Gary Lee Lovette, still on the force. He was suspended 5 days, not for anything he did to Eimers, but for embellishing, exaggerating, boasting about it.

    That’s how it was presented to the grand jury, as well. I heard that directly from someone who had been on the grand jury.

    Of course, a federal court jury would have heard the recording and made its own decision. The city and its liability insurance carrier knew that, and that the jury might come back with a much larger verdict than the city’s $1,000,000 coverage, and that’s why the case was settled: the insurance carrier was only going to have to pay $1,000,000, and the city would have to pay damages over $1,000,000.

    Also, there was a second bystander video, which the plaintiff lawyers representing the Eimers family found after the grand jury had returned a no bill (refusal to indict). That video plainly showed Eimers face covered with sand, in his nose, eye lids. His eyes were closed. He looked dead. He was dead. They revived his body mechanically. He never came back. So finally his family told them to take him off life support.

    However, there’s another story: the family was delayed being notified. Eimer’s corpse was sent to a mortuary to be cremated. But something happened, his corpse was not cremated. Divine Intervention? Eimers had told the cop who made the traffic stop, that he had come here to do God’s work.

    Indeed. From the grave, so to speak, Charles Eimers showed KWPD, Catherine Vogel, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI true blue.

    All of which might not even have happened, if the cop who made the traffic stop had not thought Charles Eimers was homeless, because he appeared to be living in his PT Cruiser. In fact, he had only just reached Key West from Michigan, where he had lived and worked until he retired. He was thinking of moving to Key West. At worst, he was a tourist who got mixed up on the easy to get mixed up under total reconstruction North Roosevelt Blvd.

    But, why did Eimers drive off from the traffic stop without his driver’s licence, which the cop had with him in his police cruiser, running the license through the police department’s computer? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know the answer to that question.

    During citizen comments at a city commission meeting, I told Mayor Cates and the city commissioners their police had murdered Charles Eimers, because they believed he was homeless. Commissioners Mark Rossi went ballistic. I thought he was going to leap over the dais at me. Then Commissioner Tony Yaniz followed Rossi’ lead.

    At a later commission meeting, when approving the $900,000 settlement with Charles Eimer’s family was before the mayor and commissioners, I told them to reject the settlement offer. They had maintained long and loud all along that their police had done nothing wrong. So settling was selling out their own police officers. Go to trial in federal court, I said. Prove there that your police did nothing wrong. You owe that to them. The vote was 7-0 to approve the $900,000 settlement.

    All along I maintained that everyone was looking in the wrong direction to point their finger. All along I maintained they should be pointing their finger at the mayor and city commissioners, because they were backing their police all the way. They were not getting onto their city manager, for whom their police chief worked and answered to. They were where the buck stopped. Mayor Cates and the then six city commissioners.

    Sloan Bashinsky, write-in mayor candidate, Nov 4 ballot

  2. Since we apparently can’t convict her for aiding and abetting, she should at least be out of office. Good choices for the examples, but we all know State Attorneys and cops often have a cozy relationship.
    I recall watching a sturdy woman driving an unmarked Sheriff’s department car with the yellow star tag as she drove along US1 removing Dennis Ward’s campaign signs from among clusters of other campaigners’ signs and concealing them with her body as best she could as she carried them to the car trunk. There were none behind her but plenty in front. On my return trip, all the signs were gone. Ward got my committed vote right away.
    But most elections are won by the candidate with the biggest marketing fund, and here that means “bubba bucks”.
    As far as Vogel goes, let’s not forget about the little non-prosecutions such as Bob Dean’s fake residency so he could serve as a Key West resident on the Housing Board and FKAA Board of Directors, plus vote in City elections. So his drivers license wit the Key Haven address was fraudulent if nothing else. And when FKAA withheld incriminating documents from a public records request by citizen Walt Drabinski, that later turned up from independent sources, what happened? Nothing. We do not need a bubba crime enabler as State Attorney. Throw her out the same way we did Kirk Zuelch when he was in that office training and kissing up for his future position as FKAA Executive Director.

  3. I believe Vogel has done enough damage to the justice system and needs to go. Given that her election was questionable at the least, she’s proven that she is not fit to do the job. Her biased handling of the Charles Eimers’ murder is proof of that. As a registered Democrat, I’d vote for Dennis Ward in a heartbeat.

  4. Dennis Reeves Cooper

    Great story, brilliantly written and magnificently presented. So much beautifully woven detail, describing the behavior of some very disgusting individuals. Taxpayer money wasted on the salaries of severely corrupted public officials. Evil, immoral and wicked hypocrites, whose salaries we are forced to pay.

    So many layers of rot and cover-up. So many law-enforcement agencies, along with our State Attorney, who had the responsibility and opportunity to diligently investigate theses serious criminal allegations with integrity, honor and thoroughness. It appears that these ‘fraudulent excuses of human beings’, posing as representatives of the law, are rotten to the core.

    We’ve recently had another firsthand taste of the duplicity comprising the double standard of justice doled out in this country. Our Justice Department and FBI were at one time trusted by the people to thoroughly investigate any and all criminal activity, that might have been directed at an innocent civilian via any branch of law-enforcement. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the way that their investigations are conducted anymore. The rich, powerful and well connected frequently escape the consequences of their criminal conduct. While the common folk, too many times, are pushed around and aggressively prosecuted via a double standard of justice.

    The Justice Department’s FBI is not designed to serve as a resource, recommending paid professionals to serve as witnesses for State Attorney Catherine Vogel, for the explicit purpose of derailing the very case she is responsible and constitutional bound to make before the grand jury, on behalf of the citizens she represents in Monroe County.

    A case that was recorded on video tape. A case that clearly indicted some of the arresting officers lied and perjured themselves regarding the facts of this old disabled man’s death (Mr. Charles Eimers). A case where one of the officers, who was involved in this man’s death, mistakenly recorded himself saying : “Me, I dropped like a fucking bomb on his head.”

    Was this officer’s actions the cause of the blood trickling from the dead man’s ear? A fact visually displayed by the physical evidence, yet lied about and not presented to the grand jury by State Attorney Vogel.

    Along with the extraordinary investigative depth and breathtaking analysis of Naja & Arnaud Girard, Publishers & Editors of “The Blue Paper”, I have extensive knowledge and familiarity with this case.

    It’s unfortunate for anyone who had anything to do with the alleged cover-up and killing of this man. There are no statute of limitations regarding murder. Anyone involved in a cover-up related to this crime, or colluding as an accomplice; while obstructing, perjuring or obfuscating; their malfeasance will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Presidents, Attorney Generals, FBI Directors, FDLE Directors, Supervisors & Investigators, along with a State Attorney; come and go.

    A fresh sanitizing breeze will blow them away. All things will pass, however, the consequences of one’s crimes shall live on forever. There will not be any lifting of their punishment (consequence) for their wrongs, until every detail and measure of their offense is rectified. Such are the inescapable principles and laws of the universe.

  5. VOGEL is nothing but a corrupt b**ch. Voting her out is a great first step in cleaning up Key West. Am sure that every KWPD officer will vote for her and so will Cates and the commissioners. Without her they will end up in prison. Will correct that to not include Kaufman, as he seems to care about the people.

    I urge all that vote to pick anyone but her.

    The 2 cases are just examples as are far more.

    Sadly when we hear of cops being shot I smile. Yes sounds wrong but just maybe it will wake them up. Voters need to understand that a corrupt system in time will target them.

    Also vote Cates out and every commissioner other than Kaufman. You could save Key West and mostly you will save tourism as they do watch what is going on and it looks like a dangerous place to visit. You might be the next Eimers.

  6. Dennis,
    If Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck ran against her my only challenge would be “do I want a mouse or a duck” in office….Cause I know for sure I do not want her.

    I plan to vote similarly on all elections this fall. My choice is simple, I will vote for anybody who is running against an established incumbent bubba. I only regret that several positions were filled because nobody ran against them.

    It’s time to purge the system of those who will not listen to their constituents.

  7. I’ve been very vocal in my opposition to Catherine Vogel for quite a while now and I’m certainly going to vote for anyone but her for State Attorney. What she did in the Eimers’ murder was unconscionable and I’ve always felt she acted more like a defense attorney for KWPD cops than doing the job she is being paid to do. I’m not in agreement with everything the Black Lives Matter movement does but can understand why they feel the need to protest what has been going on with police departments for a long time. Vogel isn’t alone in what she has done here in Key West. State Attorneys and Prosecutors across the country are as much responsible for Black Lives Matter forming as the actual police are. Vogel and her cohorts have rigged Grand Juries to ensure cops are very rarely indicted for anything they do. As a result cops have become more bold because they are never held accountable. Networks such as FOX don’t help because they always side with law enforcement and always against Black Lives Matter. They always point to Grand Juries failing to hand down any indictments as the reason why Black Lives Matter in unjustified in their protests. They don’t ever present the possibility that Grand Juries can be rigged to secure the desired result. Will Vogel and other State Attorneys/Prosecutors ever get it that they are a big part of the problem? I actually LMFAO when the “Back The Blue” bumper stickers started showing up on all city vehicles. Did our worthless Commissioners actually believe that was going to fly with intelligent people who actually care about this island? There are far too many people with their heads up their butts who are willing to rubber-stamp everything the bubbas do around here. Will Vogel and other State Attorneys/Prosecutors ever get it and start to do their part to get rid of bad cops. In Vogels case, I seriously doubt it and that is why she needs to go.

  8. Justice is exclusively reserved for the rich and well connected, not for the likes of Charles Eimers, as we have seen countless times, locally and nationally. CV is just acting accordingly. Until the steroid abusing sociopathic members of law enforcement are culled and their handlers stop protecting and defending their murderous
    behavior it will not stop. Charles Eimers was murdered. Period.

  9. As Alex Symington said “Charles Eimers was murdered. Period.”. Everyone knows it despite what Catherine Vogel, Mark Rossi, Tony Yaniz, Craig Cates, Margaret Romero, KWPD, FDLE and the FBI have all told us. Anyone who saw the original bystander video which disproved the “official” KWPD bullshit story that Eimers collapsed while running from the cops knows he was murdered. Anyone who watched the second video provided by the Eimers’ family lawyer which showed Eimers entire face coated with sand with blood coming from his ear knows he was murdered. Anyone who watched the video of KWPD cops lie while “under oath” knows Eimers was murdered and Catherine Vogel was involved up to her neck in the cover-up. Anyone who votes for her has their head buried in the sand and we don’t need a video to show us that.

  10. There does seem to be conflict of interest for Vogel or any other state attourney to prosicute cops. But actually she does not need to have played this way. Sure she wants and needs the cop as a witness but if they did not willing help her the result would be when the KWPD needs her to find the accused guilty they either help or wasted time arresting the suspect. So in reality it is not fear of loss of help but simply the BUBBA system at work. Bet she could not commit a crime in KW or any part of FL. and get arrested.
    She either knows enough to win or she doesn’t. To let a child molester go because he a BUBBA is discusting. She did not need the girl to testify in court. Her recorded interview was more than enough to put that PIG in the pen for 20 years. She did not want to see several cops charged with felony and murder over Eimers.

    Stop and think, a man that retired and just traveled with much of his needed everday personal belongings for an over 1,000 mile trip in a PT cruser dam sure would have a car pact full. Anytime a person moves from one place to the next unless already rented something is actually HOMELESS. He retired and likely had more than enough income to rent a place. He was not able to enjoy more than a few minutes in KW before being murdered. He was profiled as homeless. Anyone that has ever drove for several hours might easily be disoriented for a few minutes. Not blaming the cop for pulling him over but if perhaps he had talked to him and explained why he got pulled over none of this needed to happen. Why he took off we will never know. But it was a low speed chase and no need for that many cops. Regardless of what even the FBI thinks ,the interned will keep the truth in site. The vidio does not lie.

    The only solution in cases like this is get rid of garbage that will not do the job hired to do. Neither of the cases would took a jury an hour to say GUILTY.

    Well hope she remembers this when she is terminated.

  11. I remind, again, of the ELEPHANT in this living room.

    It is not Catherine Vogel. It is not KWPD. It is not Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is not the FBI.

    It is the KW City Commission: the mayor and 6 city commissioners, who are charged by the voters with running the city properly.

    Not one blue paper reader known to me, but this one writing, went to a city commission meeting and spoke to the mayor and city commissioners about the Charles Eimers case. Not one blue paper reader, but this one writing, kept urging blue paper readers to do just that.

    I begged Alex Symington to go to a city commission meeting and give the mayor and city commissioners a piece of his mind about what their police did to Charles Eimers, and Alex said he was not good public speaker, he was a writer.

    I don’t think I have seen Dennis Reeves Cooper at a city commission meeting since perhaps when he was driving hard to get the city a Citizens (Police) Review Board back in 2002.

    Not one blue paper reader, but this one writing, kept asking blue paper readers who they had voted for mayor, and who they were now going to vote for mayor?

    There is only one person who ran for mayor after Charles Eimers was snuffed by KWPD, who went to city commission meetings and got onto the mayor and city commissioners about what their police did to Charles Eimers, and that person is writing this.

    There is only one candidate in this year’s mayor race, who went to city commission meetings and got onto the mayor and city commissioners about what their police did to Charles Eimers, and that person is writing this.

    My name is not on the Nov 4 ballot. There is a blank space to write in my name.

    1. I can’t blame anyone but vogel. It was her that limited what the grand jury heard. Had they heard and seen all they would been found guilty. Just the evidence from lovete would been enough. BOMB

      1. If you can’t blame anyone but Vogel, then, for you, Carles Eimers died iin vain, because the mayor, Craig Cates, and the city commissioners did not clean house in KWPD. They approved what KWPD did to Eimers. And their police department is the same now, as it was when it murdered Charles Eimers.

  12. I agree with Sloan. Although I blame Catherine Vogel for acting as defense attorney for KWPD, Craig Cates, Tony Yaniz, and Mark Rossi are all to blame for Eimers murder because they were so offended that Sloan spoke up against KWPD. You can also include Margaret Romero now that she is a Commissioner because she also supported KWPD. The first lie of many told by the cops, that Eimers collapsed while running from KWPD should have been enough to get rid of Donie Lee and the murderous cops. Once the bystander video surfaced that was more than enough evidence but obviously Donie Lee is doing the bidding of our Mayor and Commissioners and as long as he was doing what he’s told to do they will cover his sorry ass. When are the people here going to wake up and see what is going on because it’s very obvious to anyone with even average intelligence.

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