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Winter Park Police Department Complaint re Graves Mailer

Winter Park Police Department Complaint re Graves Mailer

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Published by Sarah Rumpf
Complaint filed by Pete Weldon with Winter Park Police Department re anonymous attack mailer
Complaint filed by Pete Weldon with Winter Park Police Department re anonymous attack mailer

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Published by: Sarah Rumpf on Jun 27, 2011
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06/27/2011

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Peter
J.
Weldon-700ViaLombardy-WinterPark,FL32789
March29,2011VIAHANDDELIVERYBrettC.RaileyChiefofPolice,CityofWinterPark500NorthVirginiaAvenueWinterPark,FL32789
Re:ReportofSuspectedCriminalViolationsofFloridaCampaignFinanceLawsDuringRecentWinterParkCityCommissionElection
DearChiefRailey:PleaseacceptthiscorrespondenceasawrittenreportofsuspectedcriminalviolationsofFloridacampaignfinancelawsduringtheCityCommissionracesthatwererecentlyheldinWinterPark.
Background
OnSaturday,March5,2011(theSaturdaybeforetheTuesday,March8WinterParkCityCommissionelections),IreceivedinthemailapoliticaladvertisementthatleveledanumberofviciousaccusationsagainstthenWinterParkCityCommissioncandidate(nowWinterParkCityCommissioner)SarahSprinkel,aswellasothermembersoftheWinterParkcommunity.AcopyofthepoliticaladvertisementIreceivedisenclosedforyourreview.Thepoliticaladvertisementcontainedadisclaimerthatstatedthefollowing:"PaidpoliticaladvertisementpaidforbyWilliamGraves,3048DGeorgeMasonAvenue,WinterPark,FL32792,independentlyofanycandidateorcommittee."Thereissignificantevidencethattheabovedisclaimerwasdeceptivelyandintentionallyinaccurate,andthatthepoliticaladvertisementwasactuallyformulated,produced,andfinancedbyananonymouscombinationofindividualsthattogetherconstituteanillegalunregisteredpoliticalcommitteeunderChapter106,FloridaStatutes.OnMarch16,2011,theWinterParkMaitlandObserverpublishedanarticleentitled"Developersayshewasdefamed".Acopyofthearticleisenclosedforyourreview.Accordingtothearticle,Mr.Graves,thepersonwhosenamewaslistedonthepoliticaladvertisement,statedthathewasnotinfactbehindthemailer,butthatsomeoneheexplicitlytrustedassembledthemailerandthathe"quicklyscannedit"beforeitwentoutunderhisnametothousandsofWinterParkresidents.TheObserverarticleindicatedthatMr.Gravesdeclinedtorevealtheidentityoftheauthorofthemailpiecebearinghisname.
 
ReportofSuspectedCriminalViolationsofFloridaCampaignFinanceLawsMarch29,2011Page2of5Inaddition,onthesamedatetheObserveralsopublishedonitswebsiteascannedcopyofaneightpageopenletterwrittenbyMr.Graves.Onpage6oftheletter,Mr.Gravesstated,"SinceIdidn'twritethosewordsandhaveyettoreceiveacopyofthemailerinquestion,I'lltakeyourwordforitthatthewords'CarlisleDeveloper'appearedinthemailerandwereusedtodescribeyou."Inthatsamewritingatpage2,Mr.Gravesreferstotheinvolvementofhis"colleagues"andstatestoMr.DavidLamm,towhomtheletterwasnominallyaddressed,"Rightnow,youshouldbeprayingthatmycolleaguesdon'tsucceedintalkingmeintoholdingoutforclassactionstatus,acountersuit,andajurytrial."
SuspectedCriminalViolationsofCampaignFinanceLaws
Theabove-statedfactsareclearindicationsthatMr.Graves'roleintheschemetoformulate,produce,andfinancethepoliticaladvertisementreferencedabovewastoserveasafalsefronttoconcealtheidentitiesofthosewhoweretrulyresponsibleforthispoliticaladvertisement,inviolationofFloridalaw.Section106.011,Fla.Stat.,providesinpertinentpart:
(1)(
a)"Politicalcommittee"means:1.Acombinationoftwoormoreindividuals,orapersonotherthananindividual,that,inanaggregateamountinexcessof$500duringacalendaryear:b.Acceptscontributionsforthepurposeofexpresslyadvocatingtheelectionordefeatofacandidateorthepassageordefeatofanissue;c.Makesexpendituresthatexpresslyadvocatetheelectionordefeatofacandidateorthepassageordefeatofanissue....Section106.03,Fla.Stat.,imposesanaffirmativeobligationonallcombinationsoftwoormoreindividualsorotherpersonswhomeetthestatutorydefinitionof"politicalcommittee"tofileastatementoforganizationwiththeappropriateauthoritywithinaspecifiedperiodoftime.AsthepoliticaladvertisementatissueconcernedaWinterParkCityCommissionelection,pursuanttoSection106.03(3)(c),Fla.Stat.,andtheWinterParkCodeofOrdinances,theappropriateauthoritywastheWinterParkCityClerk.Section106.07,Fla.Stat.,furtherimposesnumerousrequirementsuponpoliticalcommitteestofilewiththeCityClerkregularreportsofallcontributionsreceivedandexpendituresmadeonbehalfofthepoliticalcommittee,includingthefullname,address,andoccupationofeachpersonwhohasmadecontributionstothepoliticalcommittee.Theabove-statedfactsclearlyindicatethatWilliamGravesactedasmerelyafalsefronttoillegallyprotecttheanonymityofacombinationofindividualsthatoperatedtogethertoactasanillicitandunregisteredpoliticalcommittee.
 
ReportofSuspectedCriminalViolationsofFloridaCampaignFinanceLawsMarch29,2011Page3of5NeitherMr.Graves,noranygrouppurportedlyaffiliatedwithhim,hasfiledastatementoforganizationwiththeWinterParkCityClerk.Norhavetheyfiledanyreportsrevealingtothepublicthefullname,address,andoccupationofeachpersonwhomadecontributionstothispoliticaladvertisement.Section106.19,Fla.Stat.,imposescriminalpenaltiesfortheabove-statedviolationsoflaw,andstatesinpertinentpart:
106.19Violationsbycandidates,personsconnectedwithcampaigns,andpoliticalcommittees.
(1)Anycandidate;campaignmanager,campaigntreasurer,ordeputytreasurerofanycandidate;committeechair,vicechair,campaigntreasurer,deputytreasurer,orotherofficerofanypoliticalcommittee;agentorpersonactingonbehalfofanycandidateorpoliticalcommittee;orotherpersonwhoknowinglyandwillfully:(a)Acceptsacontributioninexcessofthelimitsprescribedbys.106.08;(b)Failstoreportanycontributionrequiredtobereportedbythischapter;(c)Falselyreportsordeliberatelyfailstoincludeanyinformationrequiredbythischapter;or(d)Makesorauthorizesanyexpenditureinviolationofs.106.11(4)oranyotherexpenditureprohibitedbythischapter;isguiltyofamisdemeanorofthefirstdegree,punishableasprovided
In
s.775.082ors.775.083.ThefactsIhaveprovidedaboveleadmetobelievethatMr.Graves,andthoseforwhomhewasseekingtoactasafalsefront,havecommittedcriminalviolationsofatleastSections106.19(b)and106.19(c),Fla.Stat.,byfailingtofiletheappropriatestatementoforganization,andbyblatantlyfailingtoreporttheidentityofcontributorsandamountofcontributions.Asaresultoftheirblatantfailuretofile,thereisnowaytoknowatthispointwhethertheyacceptedacontributioninexcessofthe$500limitationprescribedbySection106.08,Fla.Stat.(Section106.19(a),Fla.Stat.),orwhetheranyprohibitedexpenditurewasmade(Section106.19(d),Fla.Stat.).Further,Section106.08(5)(a),Fla.Stat.,explicitlyprohibitsthepracticeoffalsefrontinginwhichitappearsMr.Gravesandhisanonymousassociatesengaged,statinginpertinentpart:
106.08Contributions;limitationson.
(5)(a)Apersonmaynotmakeanycontributionthroughorinthenameofanother,directlyorindirectly,inanyelection.

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