Update 2/8/14: Typically, I update posts at their conclusion. However, I now know that everything I was told by public servants about formal Florida investigations of charlatan dog handler John Preston’s perjuries was a lie. Preston was investigated in 1986, by order of then-Governor Bob Graham. The more accurate paper trail begins with this article.
Gannett publications – USA Today, Florida Today, Detroit Free Press, etc. – fall short when lives and freedoms are at stake.
Below the 2009 email to Florida Today is a 2008 exchange of emails with State Attorney Wolfinger’s records custodian that indicate how lightly Wolfinger takes his responsibilities – according to Wolfinger’s office, it fell to this private citizen to protect every other private citizen by paying the State Attorneys office to conduct a “research project” to determine how many times bogus dog handler John Preston had committed perjury in Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit, Brevard and Seminole Counties, even though Wolfinger had served as an assistant public defender while Preston was routinely being put on the stand, and had personally defended Juan Ramos, Gary Bennett and likely others.
Please note the parties that were copied on the email to Florida Today, and put some thought into realigning your beliefs on which individuals and entities deserve your continued trust.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: December 14, 2009 12:18:48 PM EST
To: John Glisch <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
Cc: Governor Charlie Crist <Charlie.Crist@eog.myflorida.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Debbie Mayfield <Debbie.Mayfield@myfloridahouse.gov>, email@example.com, Senator Mike Haridopolos <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Norm Wolfinger <email@example.com>, Scott H Maxwell <firstname.lastname@example.org>, TCPalm Daily Newsbreak <email@example.com>, Gretl Plessinger <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sandy D’Alemberte <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, “Barry Scheck, Innocence Project” <email@example.com>, “Maddy deLone, Innocence Project” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Seth Miller <email@example.com>
Subject: “Motion Denied in Dillon case” 12/4/09; “Lawyers call for a squad on innocence” 12/12/09, etc.
Dear Florida Today:
I write once again to document information that discounts Gannett’s reporting.
Roger Dale Chapman appeared at William Dillon’s compensation hearing in Tallahassee, ostensibly to apologize to Dillon for lying about him on the stand and support Dillon’s exoneration compensation claim, but noticeably more concerned with claiming he’d been coached to lie by former Brevard deputy Thomas Fair. As Chapman wasn’t due to be rereleased until February, I’ve requested contact information for the appropriate records custodians to get the facts surrounding Chapman’s somehow getting out early yet again, apparently without supervision this time. It’s more than a little suspicious for a dangerous career felon to continually get early releases.
Florida Today’s December 4th article, “Motion denied in Dillon case,” portrayed Fair successfully getting his “belief” on the record in Dillon’s exoneration compensation hearings that supported State Attorney Wolfinger’s spurious claims that Dillon was released on technicalities, belied by DNA tests, Chapman’s lies, misrepresented evidence, witness intimidation, officer misconduct, the use of John Preston’s phony scent evidence expertise, etc.
Florida Today allowed Wolfinger to state that he had investigated cases involving Preston after Wilton Dedge’s 2004 DNA exoneration in “Trials in which dog was used to be reviewed” on July 25th, 2009. Wolfinger did no such thing; I’ve known this since November of 2008 through asking Wolfinger’s records custodian for his list of Preston’s appearances. There isn’t one. Wolfinger’s custodian wrote that I was requesting an investigation, and that I would have to pay for it.
According to Wolfinger’s records custodian, no one from the media had requested a list. And that is not as bad as it gets.
Florida Today reported on December 4th, “Fair, in his affidavit, calls Chapman’s testimony “slanderous, libelous and defamatory to the good moral character of myself, Investigator Dan Wilmer and Judge Dean Moxley.” Hanging Dillon out to dry – Florida Today did not print any of its archived information about Wilmer, Moxley or Fair, information that doesn’t support Fair’s glowing character endorsements.
Dan Wilmer – perhaps there are two; one honest, one not. Florida Today challenged the Sheriff’s office over Wilmer’s denial of the existence of a memo linking a prostitute to another deputy, with that challenge proving that Wilmer lied, according to the November 1995 Brechner report.
Judge John Dean Moxley – whether he’s goes by John or Dean, there’s but one Moxley involved, and he has a low moral character. Florida Today previously reported that he helped prosecute Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge and others using untenable trial tactics like those listed above.
Thomas Fair – according to Florida Today’s October 27, 2008 article, “Ex-police tester says he got fired unjustly,” Fair claimed he’d been dismissed for speaking up about financial mismanagement. It’s feasible that Chapman’s statements at Dillon’s hearing were solicited to undermine Fair’s credibility in fighting to get his job back; it’s also feasible that Fair is playing along with a dark charade to get reinstated. The latter seems the likelier scenario; Moxley was the initial judicial assignment of Fair’s employment lawsuit.
Florida Today’s ongoing disinterest in its own archives and public records remains married to its determination to steer the course of events away from a rule-of-law resolution of clouded convictions, as further evidenced by appending Annette Clifford’s comment to John Torres December 4th article, implying a Grand Jury investigation of Preston cases is appropriate.
Grand Juries conduct secret hearings with evidence and testimony requirements that are inferior to our courts. The public, nationwide, has been endangered by Preston’s perjuries for close to thirty years. Secrecy is obviously not in the public’s best interest when it leaves miscreants on the job and felons on the streets. When Preston’s, Keith Pikett’s and other DNA discredited dog handlers are scrupulously investigated, there will likely be a bloody body count resulting from putting the wrong men behind bars based on their “scent evidence.”
Florida’s Chief Inspector General is obligated by statute to initiate investigations of public misconduct; CIG Miguel has refused to do so and Gov. Crist hasn’t requested her resignation for nonfeasance. Florida’s Bar and Judiciary aren’t self-policing themselves. Florida’s Legislature refused to step up and check and balance the Executive and Judicial branches despite knowledge of the scale of false expert testimony, including Preston’s testimony in the 9th Judicial Circuit resulting in Linroy Bottoson’s execution that gives that district a vested interest in upholding Preston-tainted convictions and makes Crist’s Executive Order Number 09-147 yet another untenable tactic deployed against Gary Bennett, unless – of course – Preston testified in every judicial circuit in Florida.
It’s the FBI’s job to investigate bogus scent evidence experts involvement in prosecutions, including at their behest. Through an issuance resulting from accepting a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus, the FBI can be compelled by the US Supreme Court to immediately adhere to its mandates. A Petition stands a good chance; one of my requests for an FBI investigation included reporting an Internet scam that abused the FBI logo; the FBI e-mailed a prompt response to the scam. Additionally, the FBI protected dogs ahead of men in investigating dogfighting operations in several states this year while men framed by canine scent evidence remained caged.
Florida Today’s December 12th article, “Lawyers call for a squad on innocence,” suggests that there was a “mistake” involved in Willton Dedge’s prosecution, as if there could possibly be no malice behind pressing for “finality” – the bizarre Brevard prosecutorial pretense that innocence has an expiration date – to hide the deployment of Preston and the same coached jailhouse informant used against Gerald Stano, the latter fact omitted by Florida Today in its graphics, “Cases involving Preston.” That snitch recanted, too, but Florida Today didn’t connect the dots from Clarence Zacke to Chapman. Nor is there any attempt of record, to my knowledge, of Florida Today trying to find out who coached James E. Gilmore to testify against Juan Ramos, or any mention of the two inmates who testified against Gary Bennett.
Despite Gannett’s contrary conviction, callousness is not contagious; those fighting for impunity for civil servants that ruined the lives of innocent men remain an aberrant minority. As the majority doesn’t always remain silent and the US Supreme Court is unpredictable, Gannett would be wise to report factually before the finger-pointing Fair initiated becomes earnest. Relieving employees of being mired in misanthropic muck would undoubtedly be a welcome holiday bonus.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: November 19, 2008 1:05:51 PM EST
To: “WEBMASTER” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Norm Wolfinger <email@example.com>, Governor Charlie Crist <Charlie.Crist@eog.myflorida.com>
Subject: Re: William Dillon 05-1981-CF-001746-AXXX-XX
Dear Ms. Crowell:
Thank you very much for the information you provided. It adds greatly to my understanding of the depth of Brevard’s corruption.
As one of Juan Ramos’ defenders, compiling of list of others that had been convicted by debunked expert John Preston immediately upon being elected to office was a requisite good faith endeavor by Mr. Wolfinger. His failure to exhibit professional integrity is of course entirely beyond your control, therefore I am copying him on this e-mail, as well as Gov. Crist, whose continued lack of concern for those of us who have had our lives ruined by wholly apparent corruption is as reprehensible as it is indefensible.
If you would be so kind, please advise me if records of incoming phone calls are logged, preserved and electronically accessible by phone number and/or caller’s name.
Again, thank you for your assistance.
On Nov 19, 2008, at 10:29 AM, WEBMASTER wrote:
Dear Ms. Chandler:
The address for Sandra Weeks is listed on a two page discovery document.
There is no list of cases that identifies John Preston as a witness.
There have been public record requests by the Innocence Project of Florida and the Brevard County Public Defender’s Office that sought information about John Preston, but they have also been advised that there is no list of cases. A copy of their public record requests are available and are a page or two in length.
What you are actually requesting in your e-mail is that this office conduct a research project. To create the lists that you request would require a hand-search of numerous case files and hours of review. As mentioned in the prior e-mail, the requester of such a search would be required to pay the hourly rate of the person who did the research.
Should you wish for the discovery document or the public record requests mentioned above to be copied and mailed to your, please contact Cathy Romans at (321) 617-7510 and she will verify with you the number of pages and the cost. Ms. Romans can also coordinate with you should you wish to review other documents that may be available for inspection that you could review for some of the information you are requesting be compiled into lists.
State Attorney’s Office, 18th Circuit
>>> Susan Chandler <firstname.lastname@example.org> 11/6/2008 5:24 PM >>>
Dear Ms. Crowell:
Thank you for your response.
I located Chapter 119. If I understand it correctly, you can refuse requests for information for a number of reasons.
I ask that you review my FOIA request as though it had been correctly titled a FPRA, accepting my pledge to pay $ .l5 per one-sided copy, and tell me which documents you can provide. You know what information I’m seeking and are familiar with the specifics of Chapter 119, please do not leave it to me to guess what parts of my request were outside of your lawful obligation to fulfill.
Again, thank you for your response. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you again.
On Nov 6, 2008, at 8:32 AM, WEBMASTER wrote:
As a result of your e-mail to Mr. Wolfinger dated November 4, 2008, I have been asked to locate, review, and respond to your e-mail dated September 30, 2008, that was addressed to Governor Charlie Crist; Attorney General Bill McCollum; FDLE Director Gerald Bailey; Public Defender J.R. Russo; and State Attorney Norm Wolfinger.
The Freedom of Information Act is a federal law that does not apply to Florida government agencies. As a result, Florida agencies have no obligation to respond to a demand for information under that legal authority.
The law in Florida that does apply to documents maintained by a state agency is the Florida Public Records Act, Chapter 119, Florida Statutes. However, that law does not require an agency to compile or create documents and information on behalf of the person requesting the information (primarily what your e-mail requests). It also does not require an agency to conduct research of existing records to find specific documents that may contain the information you request without payment for the hour(s) of clerical time that would be involved in that research. The public records law also allows the agency to collect payment in advance of making any copies (15 cents per page); conducting any research; and if copies are to be mailed, payment for the cost of postage.
Should you wish to make a request for records from this office under the Florida Public Records Act, please direct your request to my attention. In constructing your request, please keep in mind the above limitations on the obligation of this office.
Custodian of Records
State Attorney’s Office
>>> Susan Chandler <email@example.com> 11/4/2008 6:40 AM >>>
If William Dillon was indeed James Dvorak’s killer, then he had help; that’s what the DNA on the bloody T-shirt reasonably indicates.
A failure to enter that DNA into CODIS therefore recklessly endangers the public by negligence in diligently pursuing possible accessories to murder. Allowing those acting under your direction to shift your sworn responsibilities and fiduciary obligations to Dillon’s defense team is untenable.
Please provide your immediate assurances that the DNA will be entered into CODIS without further delay. Additionally, I ask that you respond to my FOIA request of September 30, 2008.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.