The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
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Walton Spending $ On30-A Safety
As reported by WZEP AM1460
In an effort to increase safety along Walton
County’s Scenic 30A, the County’s Public
Works Department has made a few changeswith additional work to be done.The project and processes that are currently being instituted were initially generated bycitizen concerns that the area needed someadditional safety measures put in place. TheDepartment of Public Works began the plan-ning process in early November and is cur-rently working to ensure the safety of thisstretch of road.District 5 Commissioner Cindy Meadowssays safety is their number one priority. Shesays this is a temporary measure instituted bythe previous board until they build the bridgeover Western Lake. Meadows says they will be proposing to the BCC the use of use bedtax revenues to build the bridge and maintainthe paths based on the Florida Attorney Gen-eral recent opinion that bed tax revenues may be used if deemed tourist related by the gov-erning body.The project will include the following im- provements:1. Extend the existing 25 mph speed zonethat begins west of Watercolor to encompassthe two Western Lake vehicular bridges.(Complete)2. Install informational signage to heightendriver awareness of the close proximity of pedestrians and bicyclists on the two bridges. (Complete)3. Restripe the entire area and install morereflectors to heighten driver awareness. (InProgress)4. Install candlesticks (flexible vertical vis-ual/physical barriers) between the eastboundlane and the multi-use path/paved shoulder.(Forthcoming) NFSC Board Meeting
Complaint Against BrannonNot Supported
Another complaint filed against a Walton commis-sioner in an election time has also been dismissedafter the state found no probable cause to proceed.The Florida Commission on Ethics has dismissedallegations of ethical misconduct by former WaltonCounty Commissioner Scott Brannon. The decisionfollowed an investigation by the Commission andreport by an Attorney General's Advocate thatfound no grounds existed to support allegations thatBrannon had improperly voted on matters related toDriftwood Estates.The Commission on Ethics lists the meeting min-
utes and states, “The Commission also considered a
complaint filed against Scott Brannon, former Walton County Commissioner. The meeting min-
utes say, “No probable cause was found to believe
that he violated the voting conflicts law regarding ameasure that inured to the special private gain or
loss of a business associate.”
In a release from Brannon’s attorney, they say that
in recommending that no probable cause existed tosupport the allegations, the Attorney General's Ad-vocate noted that no evidence supported the allega-tions that Brannon voted on matters that would have benefited a business partner who owned lots in thesubdivision. The report also found that certainvotes, which Brannon did not participate in, wouldnot have presented a conflict. When the issue of a potential conflict was first raised in April of 2009,Brannon recused himself from future votes on theissue.Brannon's attorney, Clay B. Adkinson of the Adkin-son Law Firm says, "These allegations were com- pletely without merit, and the thorough review of this matter by the Commission on Ethics demon-strates this." He added that his client "immediatelytook steps to avoid the appearance of impropriety by recusing himself from the matter, however, al-most three years later the issue was brought back upto attack Commissioner Brannon and injure hisreputation." Adkinson indicated that Brannon will be seeking attorney's fees for the frivolous com- plaint.Brannon expressed his agreement with the decisionof the Commission on Ethics, saying he was confi-dent he had not acted unethically and says the Com-mission's decision proved it. Brannon confirmed he believed the complaint was politically motivatedand frivolous. He also says he will seek attorney'sfees. Brannon says he has instructed Attorney Ad-kinson to proceed with filing for attorney's fees inthis matter. The former commissioner says the proc-ess of an ethics complaint is important to the peopleof the State, but it should not be abused for political purposes or to try to gain an advantage in litigation.He feels the process was clearly abused with thesefalse allegations and those responsible should haveconsequences for that.
Shooting Suspects Arrested
As reported by WZEP AM1460
The suspects involved in the shooting into a moving vehicle have beenlocated and arrested. Kareem Mitry and his brother, Xavier Mitry, were
taken into custody Wednesday by Walton County Sheriff’s Office
(WCSO) deputies.The victim called 911 Tuesday while traveling westbound in a vehicleon Highway 90 near Girl Scout Road. Apparently the two suspects werealso traveling in a vehicle in the same direction and drove up next to thecar.
At this point the Sheriff’s Office says Kareem Mitry began shoot-ing at the car with a handgun, striking the victim’s car several times.
The victim drove to DeFuniak Springs, refusing to stop and wait for law enforcement and EMS due to still being followed. He and his fe-male passenger eventually made it to the DeFuniak Springs police sta-tion. The driver of the car was slightly injured from broken glass. Hewas treated at the scene by the Walton COunty EMS. Bullet holes could
be seen in the car’s door and window.
Law enforcement worked into the night and then early morning locatingthe suspects. Investigators obtained both arrest warrants and searchwarrants in the case, leading to the arrest of the Mitry brothers. BothKareem and Xavier Mitry were charged with Aggravated Battery with aDeadly Weapon and Firing into an Occupied Vehicle. Additionalcharges are pending further investigation.
WCSO Meth Lab Drug Arrest
As reported by WZEP AM1460
Thursday, investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/
Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at the residence of Russell
“Rusty” Allen Smith (D.O.B 05/18/1964) and Anna Marie Quesenberry
(D.O.B. 05/14/1983) in Darlington. The search warrant was obtainedfollowing an ongoing investigation for conspiracy to distribute metham- phetamines.
During the search, Investigator’s located chemicals used in the “Shakeand Bake” and “Red Phosphorus” production methods of manufacturing
methamphetamines. Investigators also located over 100 grams of methamphetamine and items of paraphernalia commonly used to ingest
the illegal drug. Sheriff Adkinson stated “Rusty has been dealing thistrash in Walton County way too long and it’s time to pay the piper”
Rusty Smith and Anna Quesenberry were present when the warrant wasserved. Both Smith and Quesenberry were placed under arrest andcharged with Manufacturing Methamphetamines (2nd Degree Felony),Trafficking in Methamphetamine ( 1st Degree Felony), and Possessionof Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor).