Wednesday, June 6, 2018

More Questions Than Answers

By now you have probably seen or are aware of the State Attorney's Office closeout memo on the Hornsby matter.  The Herald wrote about it here and if you prefer to read things directly, you can find the memo here.

The conclusion of Assistant State Attorney Isis Perez was that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute because two of the three principals in the investigation, North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and North Bay Village Board member Ana Watson (currently facing four counts of felony fraud), did not choose to talk to her, while the third subject, Mary Kramer, local attorney and employer of commissioner Jose Alvarez did agree to be interviewed, but, you know, not recorded.

The closeout memo details the process.

Ms. Watson did not RSVP to the SAO's summons for an interview and there's nothing they can do to make her do that except insist and issue a subpoena but that costs money.  So Isis can't let it go.

Isis Perez was also unsuccessful at getting Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps for an interview but fortunately watches TV and couldn't help but notice that Her Honor said on the television that she didn't know about Hornsby's past until it was made public, so if that's good enough for Judge Judy, it's good enough for Isis.

In her only successful interview, she did score a meeting with Mary Kramer  who brought an entourage and insisted on no paparazzi or recordings which is totally what prosecutors agree to with everyone suspected of a crime.

Isis summarized the meeting by saying that Mary Kramer had indeed sought the records on Hornsby for clients that Kramer would not name and that she had no idea what these unnamed people did with that information after she found it.

In order to be fair and balanced, Isis mentions the other evidence:

  • An email from Watson letting Doug Hornsby know that his failure to do her bidding would result in bad stuff where Hornsby would claim to be the victim.  Five days later the letters were sent to Hornsby.  
  • Statements from Doug Hornsby that Mary Kramer had attempted to pressure him to fire Frank Rollason and was frustrated at his refusal to do so.  
  • Statements from Doug Hornsby's wife about the pressure she got from the mayor to influence her husband to fire Rollason.
  • A different timeline in which Doug Hornsby's wife says that she had confided Hornby's past to the Kramer and Kreps prior to the request from Kramer's office indicating that Kramer knew already.  
  • A video showing a white car stopping in front of the Hornsby's house the night the poison pen letters were delivered.  (Isis Perez does not mention that the white car was quite distinctive with a black roof panel and was not checked in at the gate.)  
So in conclusion, Perez dismisses the evidence from the victims and accepts the statement made off record by Kramer that nothing untoward happened from her viewpoint and does not pursue the other two principals, North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and Ana Watson.  

Our Village Attorney, Norman C. Powell, whose previous experience as a strip club lobbyist uniquely qualifies him as an expert on extortion jubilantly concurred with the Isis vindication by saying "Where is the quid pro quo?"  The quid pro quo is the action that a blackmailer wants done in exchange for not doing harm.  (Special note:  the quid pro quo may have been to fire Frank Rollason?  Evidence seems to point that way.) 

Anyway, this decision not to prosecute was actually issued on May 15 but not made public until Friday June 1 after the police chief Carlos Noriega filed his lawsuit for wrongful dismissal and a media counter narrative was called for.  In other words, it looks like the SAO hid the finding until it was needed for political purposes.  

Norman C. Powell sent out a celebratory text to the commission and  employees following the NBC 6 "reveal" of the memo.  I guess my favorite is where Mayhem Martell expresses her gratitude to Willard Sheperd who she apparently believes was the one who arranged all this.  ("What a relief.  Thank you, Willard") My second favorite is the one from David Raben, our fly Village Criminal Attorney ("Willard da man!")   I bring this up just in case you thought the job of our Village Attorney, Village Manager and Village Criminal Attorney was to serve the residents.  It's not.  It's to protect the mayor.  We just pay for it.  

So in spite of the fact that the letters were sent, the evidence that a firing was demanded as a quid pro quo, and the refusal of a key figure, North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps to meet with the prosecutors, Isis Perez was not able to see how any of this is a problem. 

Also, this is a nice car.

Anyone seen a car like this on North Bay Island?  Just asking for a friend.

Kevin Vericker
June 6, 2018

1 comment:

  1. Come on, say what you want to say about Kreps, whether you disagree with her, whether you think she might be crazy or not, the worst you should do to her is criticize her for tangible and measurable bad decisions, something that happens while governing. She is definitely not the one benefiting financially from any of this. The fact that no laws were broken, that she was not involved in the blackmail of a commissioner who lied twice before his rights were restored and who diverted attention to his own problems by using FAKE NEWS tactics, is something which you should address as well and give the mayor some credit for coming out clean out of this matter.....Listen, there are a lot of people who do not like the mayor and maybe her style, which sometimes goes into bickering over some very petty minor issue late into the night during meetings. Insinuations or accusations of corruption against this mayor have fallen FLAT over the years, since everyone else in the City who has been charged with crimes or ethics violations seems to have served some jail time, removed from office or no longer in the public eye at all. Maybe reviewing her past votes on policy/financial decisions and the impact on the City today, since she has been the mayor for a long time, would be a better gauge of her long term performance.


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