Monday, December 11, 2017

Who's Next?

Last month, in a clearly orchestrated move done outside of public view, three members of the commission voted to fire Attorney Robert Switkes for no stated public reason.

Mayor Kreps - Noted as a "subject of interest"
in the extortion investigation
by Village Attorney R. Switkes
Commissioner Jose Alvarez - Family
member named as a "subject of interest"
in the extortion investigation.
Commissioner Jackson - Accused of
conspiracy to violate Sunshine Laws
by plaintiffs Laura Cattabriga and others
Switkes in turn told the dais that he believed the firing to be a retaliation for Switkes reporting the extortion attempts against Commissioner Doug Hornsby to the FBI and state authorities. Switkes also stated that a member of Commissioner Alvarez’s family and the mayor herself were subjects of interest in the investigation.

Since then, Commissioner Jackson, who has been accused of conspiracy to violate Sunshine Laws and for violating Sunshine in a lawsuit filed by the mayor’s allies, has remained tight lipped about her reasons for her sudden decision to join the subjects of interest and fire Robert Switkes, although she has promised that she will explain herself at this month’s meeting.  She won’t, but she promised. 

This week, on Thursday, December 14th at 7:30, the regular commission meeting will be held at Village Hall and although it is not on the agenda, it is widely believed that later in the evening, the two subjects of interest and the accused Sunshine violator, will vote as a bloc to fire Frank Rollason and you can expect that Chief Noriega will be immediately terminated in the same shake up. 

The mayor has been gunning for all three since the extortion attempt against Commissiner Hornsby, her former friend, did not result in his resignation. 

Commissioner Jackson told me that there is no such investigation and the mayor has said the same in the press so apparently they both believe that for some reason, Switkes, Rollason and Hornsby, simply made up that information.   This is of course stupid, self serving and destructive to North Bay Village but that does not concern either of them.

The mayor is very cunning and very, very angry and perhaps a little scared because whether or not she believes it is real, there is an investigation into the extortion attempt.  But being cunning, she knows it’s small potatoes and that without ongoing interest from the village administration, she can just run the clock out on the investigation.   And that probably will happen. 

Look, I don't know where this will all lead but nowhere good, that's for sure.

Kevin Vericker
December 11, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Nothing Good Happens In The Dark

TRIGGER WARNING:  This is going to be a complicated post that attempts to break down several concurrent and related subjects of possible illegal activities in North Bay Village.  If you suffer from short attention span or anxiety when more than one idea at a time needs to be discussed, you should leave now and view videos of puppies 


  • North Bay Village Douglas Hornsby revealed that he served a prison sentence in Tennessee following his conviction on a drug felony in the 1980's.   This raises the question of whether or not he was an eligible voter in the State of Florida at the time of his appointment to the North Bay Village Commission.   There is no definite statement on that subject from the state authorities and we are still waiting for that.  

  • Several citizens, including the head of the Village Citizens Budget and Oversight Commission, have filed a lawsuit requesting that the court remove Hornsby immediately and find that he was ineligible to serve.   The lawsuit plaintiffs have also accused Frank Rollason, the Village Manager, and Robert Switkes, the now former Village Attorney of consipiring to put and keep Douglas Hornsby on the commission and that Commissioner Andreana Jackson cooperated in cancelling a meeting to avoid public discussion of the issue.  That lawsuit is now scheduled to be heard in January 2018.

  • On Tuesday November 14, without providing the customary public notice of consideration, the Mayor of North Bay Village made an unannounced motion to fire Village Attorney Robert Switkes "for cause" and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Andreana Jackson "for discussion".  There was no discussion except for the Mayor briefly mentioning in her motion that the Commission on Ethics had commented that Vice Mayor Eddie Lim may have received erroneous legal advice from Robert Switkes but the mayor did not mention that she herself filed that complaint against the Vice Mayor.

    Robert Switkes in turn objected to the dismissal stating publicly that two of the Yes votes - Mayor Kreps and Commissioner Alvarez - should have recused themselves as they are "subjects of interest" in a criminal investigation brought to the state and federal authorities by Switkes.   Switkes further stated that he believed the dismissal to be retaliation for his bringing the information forward that led to the federal and state investigations.  


If you find what I wrote above hopelessly confusing and enraging, I refer you back to the puppy videos.   It's okay.  We'll carry on without you.  


Douglas Hornsby's discussion of his conviction, incarceration and a short discussion of his life this far was motivated by a series of anonymous letters and texts sent to him and his wife in a clear attempt to pressure him to do something.  I know how vague "something" sounds but the letters and texts are not public knowledge and I certainly haven't seen them.  But it's not too far a jump to believe that the writer(s) of the poison pen letters expected that Hornsby would either resign rather than face public disclosure of this public information (you read that right) or attempt to placate the extortionists by agreeing to do something they wanted him to do.  I have no idea what and you don't either unless you wrote them, in which case, please share.  

Now extortion of a public official is considered a very serious crime and is covered under many applications of the federal Hobbs Act.  In the political sense, the act makes it a federal crime to threaten a public official to use their public power for the extortionist's gain.   Again, it's not clear what the extortionist wanted from Hornsby but at a minimum, the assumption that it would be a resignation is not a fanciful leap of thought. 

As part of Hornsby's discussion to the commission, the Village Attorney Robert Switkes informed the commission that he had turned the relevant information over to the FDLE and the FBI for their investigation and suggested that the commission take a vote affirming Hornsby's appointment, which they did.


The Mayor decided that she would give a series of interviews to NBC 6 Miami to discuss her concerns that perhaps nothing the commission voted on this year was legal because of the situation, to complain publicly that she felt she was not given all the information she needed to make a decision while never specifying what information she wanted, and wonder about it all.  

For his part, Willard Shepherd dug into Hornsby's voting records and uncovered some apparent irregularities, specifically it looks like the box that asks if you have been convicted of a felony was not checked when it should have.  Further investigation by Willard Shepherd uncovered that Hornsby's voting rights were restored in 2005 and confirmed again in 2017 but the Miami-Dade Elections bureau simultaneously declared that Hornsby was ineligible to vote in July 2017 and then issued him a new elegible voter registration three days later.   

All confusing and by now the whole eligibility should have been resolved.  If Hornsby was not eligible at the time of his appointment, he should leave.   If he was, then the issue about whether or not the village's decisions were valid go away.  If there are further legal issues on previous registrations, he should face the issue in the appropriate venues and clearly a decision should be made about his continued presence on the dais.

The appropriate venue is not in the press.


Miami-Dade Department of Elections - Their role in this is to investigate if Douglas Hornsby was an eligible voter at the time of his appointment to the commission.  They have not made a public statement but they did tell him that in July of this year they did not believe him to be eligible but then immediately re-registered him as eligible, but have not made a definitive public statement as to Hornsby's eligibility when he was appointed.  

The State Authorities, the FDLE according to former Village Attorney Robert Switkes, is investigating the anonymous letters and texts sent to Hornsby and trying to determine who sent them and with what purpose.  

The Federal Authorities, the FBI according to former Village Attorney Robert Switkes, is working with the FDLE to determine who sent the anonymous letters and texts to Hornsby and once identified to determine if the intent was to extort a public official, thereby the violating the Federal Hobbs Act.

The State and Federal District Attorneys, who will decide based on the investigation if there is sufficient evidence to bring identified suspects to trial for the extortion attempts.  

The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Village - They are seeking a judicial order to remove Hornsby from the commission and allege that the Village Manager and Attorney colluded to put Hornsby on the dais and to keep him there while knowing that he was ineligible.  They also allege that Commissioner Andreana Jackson deliberately absented herself from a May commission meeting at the suggestion of Village Manager Frank Rollason and Village Attorney Robert Switkes so as to preclude discussion of the Hornsby status at the meeting.   The hearing is now set for January 2018.  

Persons of Interest - according to former Village Attorney Robert Switkes, two "persons of interest" in the state and federal investigations are Mayor Kreps and the wife of Commissioner Jose Alvarez, Mary Kramer.   "Person of Interest" is a broad term used to describe people that the investigators want to speak to in relation to a crime.  A "Person of Interest" can be suspected of the crime, or may be believed to have information that could lead to the identification of a suspect or other key information.   


In our municipal system of government of North Bay Village, there are only three employees who report to the Commission - the Village Clerk, the Village Manager, and the Village Attorney.   The role of the Village Attorney is to oversee all legal matters that might affect the village, represent the village in legal conflicts and to provide advice to the Commission on legal procedures.   The position is hired and fired by majority vote.  

Normally, since these are key positions, the procedures around the hiring and firing are done in a Commission Meeting with public notice and public discussion.  While it is not legally required to notice the public on the specific matter, it is an absolute tenet of Good Government Practice that important decisions be noticed to the public and the public disclosure of the reasons why the change is being made.  


The motion to fire was introduced late in the evening with no prior notice to the citizens or the administration.  None of the three commissioners gave their reasoning for firing Robert Switkes.  Switkes himself said that there is an inherent conflict since the Mayor and the wife of Commissioner Alvarez are "persons of interest" in the criminal investigation.  Per Switkes, they should have recused themselves from such a vote and that he believes the firing was in retaliation for his reports of possible criminal action.  

Additionally, a new village attorney, Norman Powell, was hired, again with no discussion on the dais or input from the public.  Norman Powell has served as our coding magistrate but there is nothing on public record as to why he is the best candidate to take over as Village Attorney and again, no commissioner shared their reasoning on his appointment.  


The whole business stinks.  

I make no bones about how poorly our mayor has performed as the titular head of our commission.  The Mayor has no ability to build consensus and at the first hint of disagreement, uses every tool at her disposal to destroy the person who has displeased her.   Richard Chervony, Jorge Gonzalez, Frank Rollason, Eddie Lim, Robert Switkes, and dozens of others were once her close friends and allies but she used underhanded and questionably legal methods to attack each of them when they asked questions or disagreed in public.   Just last year, in a filed police report, the mayor admitted to slapping Commissioner Andreana Jackson at a children's event sponsored by the village.  Her instability and lack of discipline make even routine matters difficult and her behavior in the press and on the dais raise deep suspicions about her concern regarding extortion.

Click here for the police report on the slapping incident.  

Commissioner Alvarez has shown all the initiative of a sock puppet.  He only speaks to announce that he has no report to make and vote the way the mayor has indicated she wants him to.   

Commissioner Jackson disappointed me.   She has been an independent voice on the commission, constructive and often innovative in her approach, but her silence on the matter of the firing is disturbing and her refusal to disclose her reasoning on why Robert Switkes should be dismissed is a cavalier disregard of the norms of public service.  

The commission should meet publicly in special session and bring the  question back.  This time it should be done openly, in Sunshine, with facts good, bad, ugly and dull laid out.  The commission works for the public and while they have authority to act as they see fit, the clearest analogy I can draw is to other employee/employer relationships.  Think of the Commissioners as public employees.  That they have the authority to take an action is crystal clear.  But when their employers, the public, raise questions as to why, they have an absolute ethical and professional obligation to explain their reasoning.  

As of Friday, only Vice Mayor Eddie Lim had called for a special meeting.  He needs another commissioner to do so and one of the three who voted for this measure should step up to the plate and do so.   

Hiding is not an option.  

Kevin Vericker
November 20, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Open Letter To The North Bay Village and Administration

November 17, 2017

To:  All North Bay Village Commissioners, Village Manager Frank Rollason

Subject:  Request for a Special Meeting

The vote taken on Tuesday, November 14, to fire Village Attorney Robert Switkes has had a chilling effect on the residents and citizens of North Bay Village.   The Attorney is one of three positions to report directly to the Commission as the attorney is critical to ensure the Village runs correctly and smoothly.  

That this decision was made without public notice or any discussion from the dais undermines the very confidence in the Village government and its transparency that was spoken of by resident Laura Hughes Cattabriga during Good & Welfare and risks the Village's credit rating as presented that same evening.   

Further, the revelations that Mayor Kreps and the wife of Commissioner Alvarez are persons of interest in the ongoing FDLE and FBI investigations regarding the extortion attempts of another commissioner deepens the dark cloud of suspicion hanging over our municipal government.   

Therefore, I am requesting that under Section 30.03 that either our village manager, or two of the commissioners, call a special meeting to reconsider the precipitous and dangerous action taken on Tuesday night.   

I offer no defense of Mr. Switkes as I claim no special knowledge of his competency or abilities.  That is for the commission to decide in open and frank discussions.   But I make this demand as a citizen of North Bay Village who is entitled to see the light of the reasoning in this dark cloud of suspicious obfuscation.  

I am publishing this message publicly and expect a favorable response and a date for the meeting by close of business, today, Friday, November 17, 2017.   

Kevin Vericker
November 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Short History of What The Hell Is Going On

Background:  At the May 2017 Commission meeting, Commissioner Doug Hornsby brought up that he and his wife were the targets of anonymous threats to expose his decades old conviction on a drug charge, something he served time for.  Hornsby then went on to become a well regarded radiologist and built a life here in North Bay Village, specifically on North Bay Island, which let's face it, is something of a gated lunatic asylum.   

Anyway, things were going along swimmingly until he fell in with the wrong crowd, the mayor and her friends, who talked him into serving as an appointed commissioner at large to occupy the seat vacated by Jorge Gonzalez.   This was probably not a good idea for him, although it turned out well for the Village because he is diligent, open, questions items and apart from mumbling in a Southern drawl, went about the business of the commission in a pretty good way.   

Now I mention that he had fallen in with the wrong crowd, and I mentioned the mayor.  Our mayor.  Connie Kreps, who had been disappointed by yet another man, Village Manager Frank Rollason, and was leading a move to fire him, a move that would take three commission votes.  In a not all surprising move on Hornsby's part, he questioned the wisdom of firing the manager and thereby frustrated the mayor's plans.  

Little more background:  Hornsby, a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, served as a medic in that war and has the medals to prove it.  Those of us old enough to remember the time and place also know that he was not the first young man to come back with a problem.  The best part is that when he hit what had to be rock bottom with the arrest, he became more than his problem.  Hornsby has not advertised his troubles but never shied away or denied them.   

The Current Situation:  There are at least two investigations happening now.  One is regarding Hornsby's eligibility to vote and consequently serve on the commission.  Florida is an upside down state - the further north you go, the more southern it becomes - and has a Jim Crow era law still on the books that deprive people who have committed a crime and served their time the opportunity to vote.   Now whether this applied to Doug Hornsby who was convicted in Tennessee and has had his rights restored is an open, pretty easy question.  We should long ago have had that answer but for the second investigation.  

The second investigation is a far more serious one, a federal investigation of a federal crime.  Attempting to extort a public official, anonymously or otherwise, is a violation of the Hobbs Act and carries serious penalties.   

The geniuses behind the anonymous attack apparently expected Hornsby to quietly resign and they could try again to get three votes but he didn't, because he's like that.  So this Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight managed to step on their own posteriors and until the Federal case is resolved, we are not likely to have any opinions on the voter case.   

We sit and wait, right?  Ñooo!  Not in North Bay Village.  

The Lawsuit:  You see regardless of how this turns out, our mayor wants Hornsby the hell off the commission.  She has been waging a war in the press, from the dais, and in the streets to make that happen.   

And so, obligingly, two friends of hers, Laura Hughes Cattabriga, the chair of our Budget and Oversight Committee, and Marlene Brody, joined a group of residents from the mayor's Wednesday Domino Club to file a lawsuit.   

Now that lawsuit won't go anywhere as there is a current investigation into the Hornsby matter but the lawsuit might have been understandable if the lawsuit simply requested the court to rule on Dr. Hornsby's eligibility.  But it goes way beyond that.  The lawsuit does ask for that opinion, and then proceeds to accuse the Village Manager, the Village Attorney, and strangely Commissioner Andreana Jackson of conspiring to put Hornsby on the commission and keep him there.  The whole crazy mess is here, with the later Jackson amendment here.  

This stuff is seriously bananas.   Why file this when the state is already on it?  Why make accusations that don't have a shred of proof?  What competent attorney would advise you to do that?  Well, the attorney representing the aggrieved citizens is none other than former America Idol contestant, or rather Disney's unofficial version since he is over 28,  JC Planas.  Planas is a good lawyer and he must know that this lawsuit is going nowhere.  

Why do it then?  Well, it makes for good press and there are reports around town that the Federal investigation is getting very hot for some people in the gated island beautiful, so one conjecture is that it is a smokescreen to accomplish what the extortionists could not do by anonymous means, get Hornsy the hell off the commission so the mayor can fire the Village Manager and Attorney and maybe take the pressure off so the federal investigation goes away.   

Or maybe it's just North Bay Village Crazy but the net effect is that very little, by which I mean nothing, is happening on the commission as this insane drama plays out.  

And that, my friends, is What The Hell Is Going On.  

Kevin Vericker
October 24, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Must Have Hit A Nerve

Two days ago, I received a "Cease and Desist Order/ Take Down Demand" from lawyers representing Mayor Kreps.   It was in regard to an earlier post, linked here, in which I asked her to speak to the reports that she is a target of a federal investigation.  Specifically, I asked her to either categorically deny these reports or recuse herself until the investigation is complete, so that the commission's actions would not be under a cloud of suspicion.  Her constant sniping about Dr. Hornsby along with her maniacal insistence that the commission fire Village Manager Frank Rollason and Village Attorney Robert Switkes make no sense.  

I ran the piece through the Fleisch-Kincaid readability test which reported it was easily understandable by anyone with 10.6 years of schooling.   If you did read the piece, I think even the most careless reading will see that the point of the piece is to say that in light of the reports, which I am hearing from both the dais and other protected sources, that the mayor should clear these up or take a step that would allow the village business to be unclouded.  

I have never accused our mayor of excessive intellect and so her lawyers wrote me the letter you can see at this link.  Click Here For The Cease and Desist

I am sharing my response to the mayor's lawyers below:

Ms. Donaire and Ms. Baker, I cannot accommodate Mrs. Kreps demands, communicated through you, for the simple reason that the assertions are factually incorrect.  At no time do I make any allegations.  Even the most careless reading of my posting would make it clear that I am discussing the reports, both public and through protected sources, of the investigation.   

Again, since I did not make the allegations you state, it is impossible for me to comply with your demand to remove nonexistent text and it would appear your sole intent is to squelch discussion of this important matter.  

I do understand the mayor's concern about the damage to her reputation, although that is of her own doing, and would like to reiterate my long standing offer that she, like any other involved citizen, is welcome in the Facebook group I administer, North Bay Village Residents Speak, to participate in community conversations and I will also reiterate my standing invitation for the Mayor to post (unedited) as a guest on my personal blog,  

Finally, let me conclude with a question.   Your incorrect assertions on what I had written reference an FBI investigation.  Naturally I did not write about that as I know of no such participation by the FBI.  I wonder if you can confirm for me that the FBI is actively involved?  

Best Regards,
Kevin Vericker
Seriously, poor Mrs. Kreps is befuddled, demanding that nonexistent content be removed because in America North Bay Village, the mayor must not be questioned?

Well, lo and behold, the Miami New Times picked up the story and ran with it.  You can see that here.

What a mess.  But I stand by what I wrote.  I'll keep you posted.

Kevin Vericker
September 22, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mayor Kreps and Commissioner Alvarez Should Step Aside

The unspoken shadow over the North Bay Village Commission are the reports that Mayor Kreps and Commissioner Alvarez are under criminal federal investigation for using the US mail to extort a fellow commissioner into either resigning or complying with their demands to fire the village manager.  The 2 issues are a violation of the Federal Hobbs Act, which makes extortion of a public official a federal crime and and mail fraud.  
For more on the original issue, see the blog post here.

Those who are familiar with the sad history of NBV politics know that such a situation is entirely plausible.

Normally, this would just be another case of North Bay Village Crazy™  but if there is an investigation happening and the Mayor and Commissioner Alvarez are aware of being targets, we got a problem.  The federal penalties for the violation of the Hobbs act are severe and it is deeply concerning that Kreps and Alvarez are focusing on firing the village manager and village attorney at this time of crisis.  The only people who would benefit from this would potentially be them because that would reduce the pressure to investigate and prosecute this extortion attempt.  They should not be making decisions about this grave matter at this time.  

There is an easy way to handle this.  Commissioner Alvarez and Mayor Kreps could simply:
  • From the dais, state categorically that they had nothing to do with the extortion attempt.  We can assume they would be telling the truth since it is an offense under the Miami Dade Bill of Rights for an elected official to deliberately misstate the truth in their official capacity and an outright lie would add further complications to their situation, if there is one.
  • If the reports of a criminal investigation soon to be closed are true, and they do not want to speak about this publicly for fear of compromising their own positions, then they should recuse themselves from participating this Tuesday in the meeting.  There would still be quorum and the process could move along.
  • Finally, if they were involved in the extortion attempts, they could either resign or admit it and explain themselves to the public.

Now I don't think they will.  Mayor Kreps screwed over too many people to get herself in the position she's in and I believe her to be a fundamentally flawed person but if there is to be healing for her and the Village, confession will be good for both.

As re Commissioner Alvarez, even when he's there, he's not.  He clearly doesn't want the job, hates being up there, never speaks or even asks questions.   He's in way over his head and should resign.  

Kevin Vericker
September 17, 2017


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Who Do You Have To Tickle To Get A Traffic Ticket Fixed Around Here?

Among the words I may to have to eat someday are, "I'm glad that the North Bay Village Police have stepped up enforcement on the Causeway."   I am glad.  All of us see the crazy speeding, reckless turning and overall bad driving on the Causeway.  

The police have made a more aggressive effort to get people to cut that crap out and I delight in seeing drivers pulled over.  Of course, if I pull some boneheaded move, I reserve my right to complain bitterly and threaten consequences but right now, it's working for me.  
But not for everyone.  

A longtime resident of North Bay Village was pulled over on the Causeway for:
  • Speeding
  • Changing lanes without a signal
  • Not wearing a seatbelt.  
In the time honored tradition of North Bay Village where there is a better class of people overall, the elderly driver explained to the officer that she has lived here since Biscayne Bay was a puddle, was good friends with the mayor, Mrs. Kreps, and could name the other commissioners.   Also she was late for her doctor's appointment.  

In violation of all that is holy and decent in North Bay Village, the young whippersnapper of a policeman still gave her a ticket, but because she was such a nice old lady, the ticket was only for not wearing a seatbelt.  

Now we all the know the legally correct way to handle a ticket in North Bay Village is to drop it in the mayor's mailbox with a note saying "Take care of this." and leave the  country for a few months.  Paying your debt to society and moving on with your life?  That's more of an El Portal thing.  Besides, the Latest Generation who survived both disco and pet rocks needs some consideration.  

Our mayor, who is all about constituent service, attempted to do as instructed and took the envelope with the ticket, dropped it with the village clerk with instructions to give it to the manager for him to "take care of."  

Now our manager, a mainlander, apparently misunderstood what "take care of this" means and thought perhaps the mayor wanted the police to make the ticket go away which was totally not what the mayor intended.   

You see, unlike the foreign lands to the east (Miami Beach) and the west (City of Miami), in North Bay Village, the protocol for dealing with a traffic ticket is:
  • Explain to the officer how long you have lived here.  
  • Discuss your close personal relationships with the elected officials.  
  • Listen attentively as the ticketing officer explains that you can pay the fine or contest the ticket at a hearing.
  • Drop the ticket in the mayor's mailbox with a note saying "Take care of this."  
  • The mayor then contacts the village manager saying "Take care of this." 
  • The manager then gives it to the police chief saying "Take care of this." 
  • The police chief then gives it to the ticketing officer saying "Take care of this." 
  • The ticketing officer then goes to the traffic violator's who has left the country for an extended period and explains to a friend of the ticket recipient that the way to take care of the ticket is to pay the fine or contest the ticket.  
In a shocking lapse of protocol, the manager and the village attorney decided that "take care of it" might mean something extra legal and so decided to seek the opinion of the Commission on Ethics about this procedure, with the unspoken question of whether the mayor was implying that the ticket should go away.  

Fortunately, the Commission on Ethics, a group of politicos in the witness protection program headed by Let 'Em Go Joe Centorino, were all "What?  How could 'Take Care of This?" mean anything at all but the process explained above and ruled that it was just an attempt to harass an elderly resident by holding her accountable for her traffic violations and an attempt to be really mean to an elderly mayor with issues by applying non-crazy standards to her behavior.  

The mayor is naturally outraged that she was badly maligned but she has not been spending her time cutting letters out of newspapers and gluing them to anonymous threatening letters she totally never sends.  What with that other investigation and all that. 

And that's the latest in North Bay Village.  For your reading pleasure, you can click here to read the full Commission on Ethics report.  

Kevin Vericker
July 20, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Blackmail Attempt Fails

During the  commission meeting on Tuesday May 10, 2017, Commissioner Hornsby startled some of his fellow commissioners by announcing that he had been arrested and convicted in the late 1980's for an offense involving cocaine.  It happened in his then home of Tennessee and since then, he has completed rehab, always noted the incident on his professional certifications and been upfront about his past.  

The reason he brought this to the commission was because he and his wife have been receiving anonymous threats to reveal this information because the writer did not like the way Hornsby had voted on certain issues.  Instead of trying to keep it under wraps, Hornsby decided a public statement was in order and that's what he made.   

In the meantime, the letters sent through the mail and the threats sent I believe by text or possibly email have been turned over to the federal authorities and North Bay Village Chief Noriega has told me that the PD is aggressively pursuing the case with the feds.   

Following the advice of the Village Attorney and to ensure that there would not be any confusion about previous votes taken by Hornsby, the Village Commission voted 4-0 to reaffirm Hornsby's position on the commission and his previous votes.    

Hornsby and his wife are not talking about the case as it is under investigation and that's pretty well all I know about this situation.  

However, I do know about other situations.  In 2010, an attempt was made to blackmail then Commissioner Frank Rodriguez by revealing the contents of a supposed arrest from his youth.   Then Police Chief Daniels refused to have the PD investigate because Daniels was a terrible police officer.   

Also in that same month, filthy anonymous letters were mailed threatening exposure of real or imagined crimes to candidates who were not approved by the North Bay Island junta and although sent anonymously, falsely used my return address.  Police Chief Daniels refused to accept my complaint because he did not want the department involved in politics.  

Former Commissioner Richard Chervony was the victim of anonymous mailings to his study colleagues in a Good Government class as a clumsy attempt to discredit him.  

Former Mayor Corina Esquijarosa was barraged with similar tactics while she was on the dais.   The list goes on.  

My point is this is old school, North Bay Village, dirty politics.  I think the big difference now is that we have a new sheriff in town with Carlos Noriega and I believe him when he says the force will pursue this.   

I don't know where it will lead, but I hope that they do find and punish the creep or creeps behind this. We've been too long harmed by this bullshit.  

Kevin Vericker
May 13, 2017