Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chapter 13



As I stated above, in February and April, 1999, Mr. Miller contracted to do three projects on our house at 520 North Spring Street.  Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Wilkinson had said that we must do these projects  in order to get a new Certificate of Occupancy so we could get an Occupational License so we could use our commercial building.  Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Wilkinson used extortion to force these projects on us - that we would never be allowed to use our commercial property unless we complied with these illegal requirements.

We paid Mr. Miller in full in one case and paid him substantial advance payments in the other two.  Mr. Miller immediately removed all of the artifacts but stopped work on these projects the first week in May.  Despite nearly constant directions to finish these projects, he refused.  Instead of completing the projects (returning my artifacts) that he had received substantial payments on, one paid in full, Mr. Miller, did other work that he said Mr. Wilkinson needed to be done and presented me with high weekly bills. 
 
Mr. Miller removed all of the spindles and railings on the porches and verandas on the first and second floors (contract dated 2/12/99).  The Architectural Review Board approved a maximum of 15% of the spindles being removed for refurbishment.  Mr. Miller violated the Board’s decision and removed and stole them all.  He then abandoned this project.   This caused a dangerous situation as the porches and verandas now contained no spindles or railings.
 
Mr. Miller removed the back stairs and kept all materials and then abandoned this project without building and installing the new stairs (contract dated 2/12/99).  He had been paid ahead on the work done (66%).  This caused a dangerous situation as the landing from the upper back door then did not have back stairs, spindles, or railings
 
Mr. Miller removed and kept all of the antique decking on the second floor front porch, overlooking Spring Street, and partially installed untreated boards which warped the first time it rained.  The contract (contract dated 4/2/99) specified treated (waterproof) boards which I paid for in advance.  Mr. Miller was paid in full for this project.  Mr. Miller abandoned this project and left warped boards on the second floor wrap-around porch on the side and front of the house – a definite tripping hazard. 
 
The items illegally removed from the property without my approval and illegally kept from me were heart pine over a hundred years old.  Heart pine is now extinct.

Mr. Miller, McFatter and his crew spent a lot of time digging in the yard, tearing out walls, and pulling up slate fireplace hearths looking for treasure.

On September 6, 1999, I sent a certified letter, required by Florida Statute 489.126 Moneys received by contractors, to Mr. Miller regarding the abandoned projects. I sent a copy of this letter to Mr. Wilkinson to let him know the situation.  Mr. Miller did not write a response but came by once and said he would finish the stairs if I would pay him the remaining amount immediately.  I said he could finish the project and I would pay him the final amount then.  I never saw Mr. Miller again. 
 
Although not required by County Ordinance, I sent Mr. Miller another certified letter on September 25, 1999, firing Mr. Miller for abandoning projects and not returning our property which he did not have permisssion to remove from the house much less remove from the site altogether.  There was no reply.  I also, again, sent a copy of this letter to Mr. Wilkinson to let him know the situation - that I had fired Mr. Miller for abandoning three projects paid far in advance - one paid in full.  These were some of the projects Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Wilkinson had insisted on in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy so we could get an Occupational License to open our business.  We had been illegally closed for 16 months at that time.
 
On September 20, 1999, I wrote the Pensacola City Attorney, Mr. Don Caton, stating that I had received no answer to my letter to him of August 24, 1999, reporting, again, that the Pensacola Inspections Department was still breaking the law regarding CO’s and, again, asking that he stop these illegal actions.
 
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Chapter 12


I was finally given access to the Certificate of Occupancy records.  I reviewed the Certificate of Occupancy records on line in the Building Inspections Department and had them print the list for me.  Page 1 of that list is shown below; it contains 3 Certificate of Occupancy records.

Many required fields were left blank especially Occupancy Type, Construction Type and Proposed Use.  These fields were vital as a new Certificate of Occupancy inspection was only required on a new building or when the Occupancy Type changed.  It was impossible to tell, based on their official records, when the Occupancy Type changed as this field was left blank.  There were no fields to record code violations or life safety violations contrary to what Mr. Wilkinson stated.  In fact, these inspection items were covered by other Departments (Fire Department, etc.) and were not part of the Certificate of Occupancy Inspection.
 
No Certificate of Occupancy was issued for the middle record and no reason was given.  This meant that the business could not operate as they were illegally not allowed to obtain an occupational license to operate their business even if they already had a valid Certificate of Occupancy on file – as we did but were still being denied an occupational license to operate our business.  
 
I wrote Mr. Butterworth, the Florida Attorney General, on August 24, 1999, pinpointed the illegal actions on the part of City Officials, and informed him that the State Attorney, Mr. Golden, had refused to stop these illegal actions against us and the other citizens of Pensacola.  I concluded the letter to Mr. Butterworth with the hope that he would seriously address the situation I pointed out and take corrective steps.  I received a letter from the Florida Attorney General, Mr. Butterworth, dated September 27, 1999, where he refused to take any action. 
 
I wrote Florida Governor Jeb Bush, again, about the apparent illegal/criminal activities, against us and against our historic building.  I pointed out to Governor Bush that he had stated in his letter of June 17, 1999, that “Persons serving on the Construction Board of Appeals are independent of the local government and practice building construction or design, so they should be familiar with the city’s rules and regulations.  They are independent of the city, they are not obligated to follow the decision of your building official.”  

I reported to Governor Jeb Bush that all of the Board Members were licensed contractors who were required to obey Construction Laws which in Pensacola are covered in the Standard Building Code, yet they admitted to breaking the construction law regarding COs themselves which resulted in additional income from unnecessary construction, illegally required by City Officials, and the opportunity to steal building materials and artifacts from property owners – as happened to us.  I told him that I had researched the composition of the Board and discovered that almost all members, in addition to their regular businesses, had lucrative contracts with the City or, in other words, were de facto employees of the City and not independent or impartial at all, in violation of Florida Statutes.
I informed Governor Jeb Bush that the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals and Adjustments Meeting was held on August 4, 1999, and the Board members had unanimously voted to allow City Officials to continue breaking the law.  

It appeared that City Officials and members of the special-interest group were predators who routinely broke laws in order to subject the people of Pensacola to illegal requirements in order to make them unwilling victims who were forced to lose their assets, including money, building materials and artifacts which they had worked hard to accumulate in order to support themselves and their families.
 
I again asked Governor Bush to stop the apparent criminal/illegal activity taking place in Pensacola.
 
Around this time, there were news stories about the need for Governor Bush to address the rampant corruption problem in Florida.  One of the best articles was written by Carl Hiassen, Miami Herald, “Corruption fight depends on Bush Input.”  Unfortunately, it appears that Governor Jeb Bush did not crack down on the rampant corruption taking place in Florida.
 
The Pensacola Police Department appeared unwilling, and even refused, to address the reports I made of theft of our property, especially artifacts over 115 years old.  The Pensacola Police Department made one arrest - not for the theft of irreplaceable artifacts.  The following incident took place at the house downtown. 
 
I had purchased 5 door locks from Home Depot and had them rekeyed to match, one for each outside door of the house.  I had handwritten on the outside of the boxes what the key numbers were because they usually came in sets of three instead of five as I required. 
 
When I got back to the house, the contractor installing the locks was ready for the locks and I placed one by each door, all set to install. 
 
One lock went upstairs.  When I came back down, the contractor asked me where the locks were.  I ascertained immediately that they had been stolen, which much of our materials and many of our artifacts had been.  I had diligently reported these apparent illegal/criminal actions to the Police Department but they had appeared disinterested and none of our previous stolen property was ever returned.   The Pensacola Police Department consistently refused to seriously address theft of our property even though it states in Pensacola City Ordinances that it is their job to protect citizens and their property in Pensacola.  It appeared that the Pensacola Police Department officers accepted theft during construction as not breaking the law.
 
I went back to Home Depot and returned to the lock section.  All five locks were there, with my handwriting with the new key numbers clearly on the boxes.  It appeared that one of the contractors on site had stolen them, returned them to Home Depot and had received a refund for the locks, almost $300.00.  I bought the locks again and went to the Police Department.  When I walked in, carrying the locks, the desk sergeant yelled at me to get that stuff out of there while swinging his arm pointing at the door.  I left, put the locks in the car and returned to the desk sergeant where I said that I wanted to report locks which had been stolen and which I had to repurchase.  He started asking me to describe the locks.  I asked if I could go to my car and either write down their description or bring them back in so I could show him.  He said to go write the description down.  I did and returned to the desk sergeant.  I told him they were probably stolen by one of the contractors as all thefts so far had been by contractors.  He took the report. 
 
I went back to the house and gave the locks to the contractor to install.  I told him they had been returned to Home Depot by the thief and that the store had a copy of the return sheet and would release it to the Police Department.  Mr. Michael Jackson, a subcontractor, came forward, confessed that he had stolen the locks and asked that I not press charges.  He said he would reimburse me for the second purchase of the locks.  I told him I had already made a report and he left without another word.
 
I was called by a detective at the Police Department to come in for a statement.  When I told him that Mr. Jackson had confessed, he described Mr. Jackson and said that he was a known petit thief. 
 
I later received a letter from the pretrial Diversion Program that Mr. Jackson had been referred to their program by the State Attorney’s Office, that he had to complete their requirements and make restitution in order to avoid a trial.  I contacted their office, as directed, and told them of the cost of the locks, just under $300.00 which is the cut off between petit theft and grand theft. 
 
Mr. Jackson never made restitution.  I notified the State Attorney’s office that he had never made restitution as required in the program but they took no steps to rectify this violation on Mr. Jackson’s part and didn’t seem to care.
 
Shortly after Mr. Jackson’s arrest, a Pensacola police cruiser pulled into our parking lot where I was working outside.  The policeman turned off the engine, opened his door, leaned out and told me that the only reason Mr. Jackson had been charged with theft was because he had confessed.  His attitude seemed to be that I had done something wrong by reporting the theft, by taking the initiative to go to Home Depot to ascertain that the stolen property had been returned by the thief and by notifying the Police Department that they could easily get the signed receipt from Home Depot in order to identify and arrest the thief.  The policeman’s attitude seemed to be that I had done something wrong in causing a thief to be apprehended.  He started up the cruiser and left.  I was too confused to say anything.
 
On August 27, 1999, I again wrote Mr. Curtis Golden, State Attorney, and reported that the illegal activities of City Officials, especially Mr. Wilkinson, were continuing and asked, again, that he investigate and stop these illegal activities which was his job.
 
I received a letter from the State Attorney’s office stating,
----------
“I am sorry to again advise you that the State Attorney’s Office has no jurisdiction over the matters contained in your letter of August 27, 1999.” 



                                              (signed)CURTIS A. GOLDEN
                                                            STATE ATTORNEY
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Chapter 11

Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals
Official description

The Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals reviews and grants or denies applications for variances and waivers of all technical codes, including the building code, the plumbing code, the gas code, the mechanical code, the electrical code, the minimum housing code, the unsafe building abatement code and the swimming pool code but not the life safety and fire prevention codes. Serves as the regulation and discipline board for holders of City plumbing and gas certificates of competency. Reviews the appeals of the interpretation of the Building Official in regards to technical codes.

Membership:  Seven members and two alternates, appointed by the City Council. The board shall be comprised as follows: one (1) registered architect, one (1) registered professional engineer, one (1) general or building contractor, one (1) electrical contractor, one (1) plumbing and gas contractor, one (1) mechanical contractor and one (1) member at large from the public. Alternates shall be one (1) member at large from the construction industry and one (1) member at large from the public. Board members are not required to be City residents.

Term of office: Three years (alternates serve two-year terms)

Financial disclosure required?:  No

Meeting schedule: As needed on first Wednesday of every month at 2 p.m. at City Hall and upon call of the Chairman
-----------------------
The members of the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals routinely violated Florida Statutes, Standard Building Codes and City Ordinances which control construction which I initially discovered at the hearing regarding the illegal Certificate of Occupancy requirement, in 1999, i.e. the Board Members ignored all exceptions written into these regulations which specifically excluded historic properties because they didn’t want to exclude them – no matter what the law dictated.  During the hearing, Members of the Construction Board admitted to breaking the pertinent Certificate of Occupancy law themselves and denied my request that the Building Inspection Department obey the pertinent regulations covering the Certificate of Occupancy requirements. 

It appeared that the City Officials and members of the Construction Board had joined forces in order to institute and continue the illegal requirement for a “new” Certificate of Occupancy each time a tenant or occupant changed.  Since the Construction Board consisted of individuals in construction, they benefited from this illegal requirement which they used to require unnecessary construction.  These unnecessary construction requirements were also in violation of the Federal, State and City regulations concerning property and especially the restoration of documented historic properties listed on the Nation Registry of Historic Places which ours was.  The Certificate of Occupancy for our building, which was on file when we bought the property, was finally acknowledged to meet all of the legal requirements and is still the one on file for our property. 

         THE CONSTRUCTION BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS AND APPEALS
                                                               1999
Appointment                                      
Type/Date
A = Appointment                                                                      Employment/
R = Reappointment  Appointed by           Name                       Background

A 1994                  Mayor John Fogg     Kenneth Woolf,         Kenneth H. Woolf,
R 1996                                                    Architect                   Architect, P.A.
R 1999 
A 1994                 Mayor John Fogg     Donald Jehle,             Jehle-Halstead Inc. 
R 1997                                                   Engineer                    Does business with
                                                                                                  the City
A 1996                 Councilman              James Boyd,               Boyd Plumbing
                             Anderson                  Plumber                      Does business with
                                                                                                  the City  
A 1994                 Mayor John Fogg     Fred O. Fell                F&M Electric Inc.
R 1996                                                   Electrical 
R 1999                                                   Contractor
A 1994                 Mayor John Fogg     Stephen Ritz               Tower East Group
R 1997                                                   Mechanical                 has a lease with the
                                                              Contractor                   City
A 1994                 Mayor John Fogg     Kimberlee Anderson  Pres, Gulfside 
R 1995                                                   At large from Public  Mechanical Inc. 
                                                                                                  Does business with
                                                                                                  the city

A 1994                 Councilman               James C. Moulton     Moulton Properties
R 1995                 Eubanks                     General or Building  Does business with
                                                               Contractor                 the City
Alternates
A 1994                Mayor John Fogg       Don Jackson – At     Construction
R 1996                                                   large-Construction
                                                               Industry
A 1994                Mayor John Fogg       Dewey A. Miller –    D. A. Miller, Inc.
R 1996                                                   At large from             Air Conditioning
                                                               Public
 
I researched the composition of the Board and discovered that 5 of the 7 members of the Board (71%) did business with the City or, in other words, were de facto employees of the City and, apparently, not independent or impartial. 
All of the initial appointments were made in 1994.  Mayor John Fogg made most of the appointments and, in violation of Florida State Statutes, appointed individuals who had contracts with the City which was a conflict of interest.  Each of the appointed individuals who had a conflict of interest signed a statement declaring they met the requirements.  They signed a false statement as they did not meet the requirements of having no conflict of interest. 

Mayor John Fogg appointed the individual who was supposed to represent the non-construction public.  This individual was not really a representative of the non-construction public but was in the construction industry:  Ms. Kimberlee Anderson, the President of Gulfside Mechanical Inc., who did business with the City.
 
It appeared that the goal of the appointments was to load the Construction Board with construction professionals, most of whom worked with or for the City, instead of staffing the Board with members who were independent and impartial and who would make decisions based solely on regulations controlling construction. 
 
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chapter 10


The Director of Building Inspections, Mr. Delmus Wilkinson – Building Official, and the Assistant Director of Building Inspections, Ms. Tam Landis, two of the ones who were forcing us to follow non-existent regulations, were in attendance (she was the secretary to the Board).  They made many false statements regarding the regulations and me.   Most of the time they nudged each other and giggled, like high-school sweethearts, and made fun of me as I presented official material.
 
All of the Board Members were licensed contractors, bonded and insured, who were required to obey Construction Laws which in Pensacola were covered in the Standard Building Code.  Some of the Board Members were owners of multi-million dollar enterprises.  Yet, the Board Members admitted to consistently breaking the construction law themselves which resulted in additional income from unnecessary construction required by City Officials and the opportunity to steal building materials and artifacts from property owners – such as happened to us. 

The whole board appeared to be heavily biased in favor of City Officials.  The Board ignored the Standard Building Code Regulations I supplied, the only official construction regulation authorized in Pensacola, which clearly showed that the City Officials were breaking the law. 

Mr. Wilkinson used his usual excuse for refusing to recognize exceptions listed in the regulation when he said at the meeting, “So in order to use the building code you’ve got to use it as a whole and not just pick out just one sentence that might fit your particular need.”  He meant that he ignored all official, defined exceptions to the applicability of these rules; such as a CO is not appropriate on change of tenant if the classification remained the same.  Mr. Wilkinson also ignored the exclusion for properly documented historic houses, which ours was.  These interpretations on the part of Mr. Wilkinson were in violation of the Standard Building Code. 

Breaking the only authorized construction law in Pensacola (the SBC) apparently provided the Board Members with a windfall income based on illegal demands.  The Board Members fiercely defended these illegal requirements. 

This fact was evidenced when Board Member James C. Moulton stated, “I’m not talking about the Standard Building Code.  I’m talking about a local ordinance.” 

Excerpts from the verbatim transcript of the Pensacola Construction Board
of Appeals Meeting follow: 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Minutes of Board Meeting – beginning of the discussion of my case

Board Member James Boyd:  Ms. Mead, I spent about three hours of my time reading all these letters and proposals today.  It seems to me that the problem here is not that the City has not accepted the fact that it is a commercial facility.  Is that the problem?

Mary Mead:  No.  But I’m not changing…

Board Member James Boyd:  (inaudible)

Mary Mead:  There is a problem on when a Certificate of Occupancy is required.

Board Member James Boyd:  It’s required anytime you change.  It’s just for the protection of a businessman and I do it every day.

Mary Mead:  Every time you change what?
 
Board Member James Boyd:  You change the occupant or you change the use.

Mary Mead:  Okay.  But where is that?  See I have been through the Building Code and I spoke to the authors of it.  I have spoken to the people in Tallahassee but that isn’t in here.  That is being enforced and it specifically says otherwise.  If you would (Board Member James C. Moulton:  excuse me) turn to the next page (Board Member James C. Moulton:  excuse me).

Board Member James C. Moulton:  Is that the local ordinance?
 
Mary Mead:  This is the Standard Building Code.

Board Member James C. Moulton:  I’m not talking about the Standard Building Code.  I’m talking about a local ordinance.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was a lengthy discussion of the situation.  I was the only attendee who

had a copy of the Standard Building Code and the only one who referenced
the SBC as the official authority.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Minutes of Board Meeting – the end of the discussion of my case

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  That’s the reason I was asking you.  Mr. Fleming’s here.

Mr. John Fleming:  I’m John Fleming from the City Attorney’s Office.  I think Mr. Wilkinson has ably stated the City’s position.

Board Member Don Jehle:  One other question.  Delmus were you – this Declaratory Statement from the Building Commission.  Did you that attend that here or did someone from the City attend?

Mr. Wilkinson:  No, I didn’t.  That was a written statement that was sent to them and addressed to them and I don’t disagree with the Declaratory Statement.  It is not saying anything other than – I mean I’ve agreed with what they have said.  It is not a change of occupancy.  But that’s not the issue they were addressing.

Board Member Don Jehle:  I understand.  I just wanted to make sure.

Mr. Wilkinson:  No.  No.

Board Member James Boyd:  I have read all of Mr. Wilkinson’s –

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  Speak up.

Board Member Boyd:  I have read all of Mr. Wilkinson’s letters of correspondence to Mrs. Mead, and other than some innuendoes and personal accusations, I find nothing legally binding that would change my mind as to the importance of a Certificate of Occupancy for the protection of the public, their safety, and their welfare.

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  Is that a motion?

Board Member James Boyd.  I make a motion that – well howdya – I don’t think we’ve had one quite like this before, have we?  I’ll have to put on my glasses and look at it.  I guess the simplest thing to do would just be to make a motion that the variance be denied.  Actually, she’s contesting the legality.

Mary Mead:  Absolutely.

Board Member James Boyd:  of the situation

Mary Mead:  Right.

Board Member James Boyd:  Which I’m trying to figure out how (inaudible)

Mr. Wilkinson:  It wouldn’t be a variance request.  Ms. Mead is appealing my interpretation of the Building Code.  Therefore, the Board would either be upholding my interpretation of the Code or overruling my interpretation and granting her appeal.

Board Member James Boyd:  OK I that – I make a motion to uphold the City’s position.

Board Chairman Ken Woolf.  Do we have a second?

Board Member Don Jehle:  Second.

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  Any comments?  OK.  All in favor.  Does everyone understand the motion?  All in favor, aye.

Board Members:  Aye.

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  All opposed, nay.

Board Chairman Ken Woolf:  OK.  Thank you Ms. Mead.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since everyone had voted “Aye,” I was dismissed from the meeting.

Board Member Boyd stated, “I find nothing legally binding that would change my mind as to the importance of a Certificate of Occupancy for the protection of the public, their safety, and their welfare.”  That’s because Mr. Boyd and all other Board Members studiously ignored the Standard Building Code which is the required construction authority for Pensacola.

The Building Inspections Department is not authorized or responsible for the protection of the public, their safety, and their welfare.  The Fire Department is authorized and has the responsibility to protect the public, their safety and welfare in their buildings by conducting fire and safety inspections to insure this.  Regulations forbid the Building Inspection Department the authority and responsibility for this job.

The Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals voted to continue to allow City Officials (Mr. Bonfield, Mr. Caton, and Mr. Wilkinson) to break the Standard Building Code regulations. 

I researched the composition of the Board.  I found that there appeared to be a major conflict of interest since:

      1) all of the Board Members were contractors who appeared to benefit by the illegal requirement to force the CO procedure on property owners.

      2) almost all of the Board Members had contracts and were doing business with the City, or, in other words, were de facto employees of the City and not independent or impartial at all. 

Florida Statutes prohibit a member of an advisory board to “corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others.” as discussed in Chapter (6) printed below.  It appeared that the Board members support and enforce illegal requirements which provide a benefit to themselves since they are members of the construction community.  

 Florida Statutes prohibit a member of an advisory board, or his employer, from having a contract with the City as discussed in Chapter (7) printed below.  Almost all of the Board Members had lucrative contracts with the City in violation of Florida Statutes.

                                                THE 1999 FLORIDA STATUTES

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS

Chapter 112
Public Officers and Employees: General Provisions

(1) DEFINITION.--As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term "public officer" includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body.

(6) MISUSE OF PUBLIC POSITION.--No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney shall corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others.
 
(7) CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP.--

(a) No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.  

It appeared that the City Officials and the contractors, especially the ones on the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals, partnered together to establish their own policies which are forbidden by the Standard Building Code, the construction law, to further their own interests and, in the process, have caused great harm to property owners in Pensacola. 

We were constantly threatened that we could be arrested if we did not follow the demands of the inspectors in the Building Inspection Department even if their demands were against the law.  Mr. Wilkinson or one of his employees, dressed in their pseudo police uniforms, constantly patrolled our house and frequently barged in and made illegal demands.
 
It appeared that City Officials refused to allow the people of Pensacola to live under the rule of law and under the U.S. Constitution but instead, subjected them to illegal demands which violated the law despite the fact that a many of us, including my husband and myself, served our country in the military to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.  Even though the Constitution guaranteed equal treatment under the law, City Officials denied us the use of law enforcement, denied us the protection of the law, our assets were being stolen and City Officials appeared to regularly break the law and their actions were condoned by the Pensacola Police Department, the Escambia County Sheriff, the Florida State Attorney, DBPR and Governor Jeb Bush.

I wrote Mr. Bonfield, Pensacola City Manager, on August 5, 1999, again pinpointing the illegal actions on the part of City Officials, and informed him that the Board he had insisted I appear before voted to continue illegal practices in Pensacola.  I also sent a copy of the verbatim transcript of the meeting.  “Yesterday I appeared before the Construction Board of Appeals, as you have frequently suggested, for relief as you have refused to do anything to correct the Pensacola Building Inspection Department’s misinterpretation and misapplication of the Standard Building Code in regard to Certificate of Occupancy (CO).”

I summarized the meeting with the result that the Construction Board of Appeals voted unanimously to allow the Building Inspection Department to continue illegally requiring a certificate of occupancy on change of tenant.  I stated to him that, “Several members closed their eyes and sat with pained expressions most of the time.  Ms. Landis and Mr. Wilkinson rolled eyes at each other.  The Board would not even address the illegal passage of 8-99.”

It appeared that the City Officials were very friendly to this special interest group – developers in Pensacola which included builders, architects and real estate professionals. 

At the same time, Pensacola City Officials were hostile to regular folks.  City Officials refused to enforce any Florida Statutes which legally limited the power of this special interest group which included Florida State Statutes regarding conflict of interest for members of advisory boards, Florida State Statutes regarding discipline by the City Building Official (Mr. Wilkinson) regarding contractor misconduct and the Standard Building Code which forbade requiring a Certificate of Occupancy on change of tenant, etc.

I, again, asked Mr. Bonfield, as the Pensacola City Manager, to have the Building Inspection Department do their job by obeying the law in regard to CO’s and proper inspections of contractor’s work before accepting it as complete. 

Below is the official report of the City of Pensacola Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals.


  



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Chapter 9

State Representative DeeDee Ritchie, studied the regulations and sent the following findings to those involved.  All of the recipients, including Governor Bush, DBPR, Florida State Attorney golden, continued to illegally require us to undergo the illegal Pensacola policy apparently designed to swindle Pensacola property owners out of their assets.
 


 

I received a letter, dated August 3, 1999, Subject:  Delmus Nathan Wilkinson, from Ms. Kathy McNeill, Senior Consumer Complaint Analysis at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, regarding my complaint against Mr. Wilkinson, Director of the Building Inspections Department.  
-------------




 
-------------

Ms. McNeill stated, “this matter does not show possible violation of the statutes or rules which govern the professional involved in your complaint.”  I had sent Ms. McNeill the pertinent part of the Standard Building Code, the construction rule in effect here, where it states that a Certificate of Occupancy is not appropriate on change of tenant, and also sent her numerous letters and emails from Mr. Wilkinson where he demanded a new Certificate of Occupancy and claimed that it was required on change of tenant – which was false.  He misrepresented this construction rule to my husband, me and at least 333 others and forced all of us to comply with his illegal requirement by threats and extortion (refusing to allow the legal use of property until compliance with the illegal requirement). 

I had also sent documentation to Ms. McNeill which showed that I had supplied a copy of the Declarative Statement from the Florida Building Commission which stated that I was right, that a new Certificate of Occupancy was not appropriate in our circumstance, but Mr. Wilkinson refused to stop his illegal actions and forced us to comply with his illegal requirement in spite of Florida Building Commission’s decision. 

Documentation from the City Attorney, Mr. Caton showed that Mr. Wilkinson had illegally required 205 new CO’s for Oct 1997-Sep 1998 and 280 new CO’s from Oct 1998-Sep 1999, or approximately 331 new CO’s after he knew, by Declarative Statement, that this policy was illegal.  It appeared that City Officials, with Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Wilkinson as the driving forces, were defrauding the 50,000 citizens of Pensacola with illegal demands which violated the construction regulations.

I had reported to her that it appeared to me that Mr. Bonfield, Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Caton used this illegal requirement to swindle the people of Pensacola out of their money, building materials, and, if available, irreplaceable, valuable historic artifacts. 

It appeared that Ms. Kathy McNeill refused to acknowledge the facts we presented to her but, instead, made false statements in her letter and, representing the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), refused to stop these illegal activities on the part of Mr. Bonfield, Mr. Caton, and Mr. Wilkinson which were harming many citizens in Pensacola, including us. 

When I called DBPR to find out why they had made this decision, I was told that everything about it was confidential.  I stated that I was the person who made the complaint and, as such, was entitled to know what facts were presented and who, if anyone, appeared as a witness.  I was not notified to attend so that I could testify and present evidence.  All individuals I spoke with at DBPR refused to answer any of my questions as they stated that it was a secret and that the decision was final.  They  refused to divulge what logic or reasons they used to make their decision even though there appeared to be overwhelming evidence of wrong doing. 

These actions appeared to be out of the sunshine which Florida public officials were supposed to obey. 

The result of the ruling by DBPR was that Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Wilkinson continued to demand compliance with an illegal requirement even though it was the City Manager’s job is to see “that the ordinances of the city and laws of the state are enforced.”

Mr. Bonfield continued to refuse to do his job of stopping illegal harmful demands against me and repeatedly told me that I had to appear before the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals to get the City to obey the law regarding CO’s, the sole intent appeared to be to strip us, older law-abiding people, of as many of our assets, earned by decades of hard work, as they could get away with.  Again, the City Manager, Mr. Bonfield, should have done his job and stopped the illegal actions.  

Mr. Bonfield apparently told Governor Jeb Bush that I had to appear before the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals to get the City to obey the law.  Even though I had repeatedly requested that Governor Bush and Mr. Bonfield send me a copy of correspondence between them, both refused.  Governor Bush ignored my request and City Officials said there was no correspondence with Governor Bush.  Governor Bush continued to refuse to stop apparent illegal/criminal actions on the part of City Officials, an apparent illegal/criminal conspiracy based on greed not laws.

Governor Jeb Bush had written me, on June 17, 1999, that I should appear before the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals that he, Jeb Bush could do nothing even though Governor Bush consistently referred to himself as Florida’s chief law enforcement official.  I was born in the US, obeyed the law, am a veteran as I served my country  (my husband is also a veteran), and am a citizen of Florida and no one in Florida, even Governor Bush, can stop the crimes against us?
 
Governor Bush and Mr. Bonfield told our State Representative, DeeDee Ritchie, that I should appear before the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals to get the City to obey the law.  Ms. Ritchie had been unable to get City Officials to obey the law despite her efforts – which were considerable.  I have always appreciated Ms. Ritchie’s assistance.

I was forced to go before the Pensacola Construction Board of Appeals.  I paid the fee to appear before the Board, made the 11 copies of all pertinent official materials, as required, and appeared before the Board.  August 4, 1999

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