Saturday, May 5, 2018

Hornsby Extortion - The Origin Story

Here's something you probably have lost sight of.  The event which set off all of the purges was the extortion attempt on Commissioner Doug Hornsby, claiming he was ineligible to serve.  Everything that follows including the illegal behavior, the firings and Honsby's removal was not about Hornsby's conviction in Tennessee for cocaine in the 1980's but about extortion of Hornsby to get him off the commission.  

If you haven't been following the police firings, the removal of Hornsby and the whole sordid mess, start here and work your way back.   

There has only been one (1) (ONE) legal opinion on Hornsby's eligibility to serve as a commissioner in North Bay Village and that was in December of 2017 when the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics considered the issue and put forth the opinion that there was no evidence to support the claims that Hornsby was ineligible to serve as commissioner.  Read their conclusions here.  

As regards Hornsby's eligibility, there is nothing illegal.  The court cases sponsored by Marlene Brody and Laura Cattabriga et al were always false and the court tried to give them every opportunity to improve their case but the plaintiffs could not and wound up dropping the case.   

The removal of Dr. Hornsby was done when registered strip club lobbyist North Bay Village Attorney Norman C. Powell dishonestly misrepresented a discussion meeting to be a kangaroo court to remove Hornsby.  Powell was lying about the law and doing it because the courts were ready to throw the matter out.  

When Village Manager Marlen Martell fired police chief Noriega and replaced him with Lewis Velken, who in turn fired the two detectives investigating the extortion attempt, they did so to cover up crimes that seem very likely to reach the dais.   

When the Mayor tried to intimidate me from writing about the extortion attempts, it was to block information from reaching the public.  

The Core of the Hornsby Matter

In the late 1980's while living in Tennessee, Doug Hornsby was arrested and convicted on cocaine charges.  The guy had a problem.   

Hornsby was not the only Vietnam Vet to come home with a drug problem but his was an exceptional story.   

Hornsby served in Vietnam as an unarmed medic, having claimed conscientious objector status as he enlisted in the US Army.   He saw combat, saved lives, was wounded twice and received two purple hearts.   Hornsby never carried a gun.  

His service was mindful, courageous and principled.   

By the late 1980's however, he had developed a problem and the law intervened.   Hornsby served his time in prison and under the laws of Tennessee, his rights to vote were automatically restored.  

You read that right.  When Hornsby registered to vote in Florida, he had every reason to believe that he was eligible and no court has found otherwise.  

In between the time he completed his sentence in Tennessee and he moved to Florida, he completed a second medical residency at Harvard under a rehab program.  In North Bay Village, he developed a key radiology practice and he and his wife Sissy settled into the rhythms of life here in an almost 1950's domestic relationship with Hornsby practicing and Sissy dedicating herself to community causes.   

In 2016, he was approached by Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps who asked him to consider applying for the Commissioner At Large vacancy created when Jorge Gonzalez resigned.    Hornsby did.  

At no point did he hide from the mayor or anyone else his public record of conviction and imprisonment.  

The extortion attempt happened after Hornsby fell out with the mayor and her crew over the mayor's desire to fire Frank Rollason.   

The clumsy anonymous emails and physical snail mail threatened to destroy Hornsby's reputation by disclosing the already very public record and let him know "that's how this city runs." which I think means by threats and shaming.  

Since Hornsby had always preemptively disclosed his past, the threats seemed empty and designed to get him to leave the dais.   And he fought back by bringing the reports into the light of day or at least the light of the dais by disclosing the extortion publicly at a commission meeting.  

And since then, every action taken by our dais with regards to the firing of the previous village attorney, the hiring of an inexperienced registered strip club lobbyist as village attorney, the removal of Hornsby, the firing of the police chief, the firing of the two detectives investigating, the installation of Laura Cattabriga on the dais, the planned firing of Village Clerk Yvonne Hamilton and the hiring of inexperienced village manager Marlen Martell all reek of a desperate attempt to kill the extortion investigation before it reaches the dais.   Nothing good has come of this.  

And Hornsby was never ineligible to serve.  

Kevin Vericker
May 5, 2018

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