President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

September 27, 2016

Dear President Obama,
Mr. President, an African-American schoolgirl in Ocala, Florida may need assistance attending
public school, which is a federally protected activity under 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2)(A).
Enclosed is a copy of my letter to Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General. Something disrupted
next day delivery of my letter to Attorney General Lynch, shipped on September 22, 2016, UPS
tracking #1Z64589FNW92981779. FBI Director Comey got his letter delivered on time. But my
letter to the Attorney General was misdirected to the Lafayette Building, Veterans Affairs, 811
Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20571. As I write this, my letter to the Attorney General
still has not been delivered to the Department of Justice. I wrote Attorney General Lynch in part,
The Ocala Star-Banner reported January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face
discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags." Meanwhile, the black schoolgirl being
intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags was wrongly cited in lieu of arrest.
U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley has jurisdiction, but there is no evidence USAFLM Bentley sought
justice for the black schoolgirl intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags.

Mr. President, long ago when I was a student in Levittown, Pennsylvania, the American Civil
War was taught as a history lesson. Today in Ocala, Florida, the Lost Cause of the Confederacy
is an ongoing current event. Too many folks here have not accepted the outcome of the
American Civil War, including powerful people like lawyers, judges, and perhaps Mr. Bentley.
The murder of 9 African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015 was a time
of change for many Americans on the Confederate flag issue. But not in Marion County. Instead,
Ocala doubled-down on its support for the flag. Unfortunately Confederate flags were used in a
racial incident at the West Port High School to commit a hate crime against an African-American
student, as defined by Fla. Stat. § 775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense;
reclassification, because the offense involved the race/color of a black student by three white
students who used Confederate flags in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere with the
African-American student while she was attending public school. Thank you.
Sincerely,

Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481

Telephone: (352) 854-7807
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net

VIA UPS Next Day Air, Tracking No. 1Z64589FNT91572209

Enclosures

Legacy of Hate
Central Florida, Fifth Judicial Circuit, home of
the all-white bench, a Jim Crow bench in 2016

The Indoctrination of Keeper Greene, July 12, 2015
Intergenerational Confederate Propaganda (1861 - 2016)
Keeper Greene, a 2-year-old from of Clermont, draped in a Rebel flag, waves a Confederate
flag with his father, Brian, at the start of the Florida Southern Pride Ride at the Southeastern
Livestock Pavilion in Ocala, Fla., on Sunday. (BRUCE ACKERMAN/Ocala Star-Banner /Landov)
Confederate flag supporters flock to the 'Florida Southern Pride Ride' in Ocala: reports
Ocala police investigating after shots fired near Confederate flag rally WFTV - Orlando, FL
By Tobias Salinger, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Monday, July 13, 2015, 6:04 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/confederate-flag-supporters-flock-central-florida-rally-article-1.2290300

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Friday Posted Jan 29, 2016 at 5:20 PM

By Joe CallahanStaff writer

Three West Port High School students who taunted classmates on Thursday by
waving Confederate flags during school will be disciplined, according to Marion
County School District officials.
West Port High School Principal Jayne Ellspermann said moments after the white
students — two boys and a girl — began taunting, an argument ensued and one
black female student threw a punch at the taunters. Within a few minutes,
teachers and the school's resource officer broke up the disturbance, which at that
point was almost entirely verbal.
“Poor decisions of a few of our students led to this,” said Ellspermann, adding
that she was pleased with the quick response from staff to keep things from
escalating.
Ellspermann, who was the nation's principal of the year in 2014, said social media
after the fact is now the biggest problem.
By late Thursday night, and all day Friday, posts on Facebook have portrayed the
incident as a race riot. School staff are looking into reports of related videos on

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Facebook.
Ellspermann said that many more students, who are escalating the situation on
Facebook, will be disciplined by the time their investigation is completed.
Some people may argue that the students have freedom of speech when it comes
to Facebook postings, or even for waving the Confederate flags. The district says
that is not the case if those actions are causing a disruption at school.
For example: If an after-school Facebook post indicates that one person will do
harm to another student at school, the district can act and impose a suspension
because the actions could disrupt school.
Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said the flag-waving
students' prime objective was to disrupt school. And for that, they can be
disciplined.
“It was a planned, calculated incident,” Christian said. “They were trying to solicit
a reaction.”
One West Port High parent, Erika Boone, has a freshman attending the school.
She had heard rumors of race riots and called the Star-Banner. Once she was
contacted, she said she had since found out that the situation was handled
properly at West Port, but wished she would have known about it.
“They should have called all the parents,” said Boone, specifically talking about
the district's automated calling system.
The Ocala Police Department issued the female student who threw a punch a
citation in lieu of arrest, Christian said on Friday.

Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com.
Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.

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OCALA ,FL 34481
OCALA ,FL 34474

FOLD HERE

September 29, 2016
Shipper 64589F
Page 1 of 1

ATTN : NEIL J. GILLESPIE
PHONE : (352)854-7807

DELIVERY NOTIFICATION
INQUIRY FROM:

SHIPMENT TO:

NEIL J. GILLESPIE
NEIL J. GILLESPIE
8092 SW 115TH LOOP
OCALA FL 34481-3567
LORETTA E. LYNCH
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
950 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 205300001

Shipper Number............................ 64589F
Number of Parcels........................ 1
Tracking Identification Number... 1Z64589FNW92981779

Pickup Date....................................09/22/16
Weight............................................. 1 LBS
Merchandise.................................. 9 PAGES LETTER//LETTERS

Receipt of the above shipment has been acknowledged by DAVID BURROUGHS whose telephone
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T890NTFM:000A0000

Page 1 of 1

Neil Gillespie
From:
To:
Sent:
Subject:

"UPS Customer Service" <packageinfo@ups.com>
<neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:17 PM
UPS Package Information - 64589F

IMPORTANT DELIVERY,
You have received an important delivery from UPS Customer Service.
Please download your file by clicking on the file name in the Attachment section of the ePackage area below.
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Cc
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64589F_401_2457659.pdf (19.08 KB)
Download All Files

Attached file will be available for 15 days after the receipt of this email.
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this message.
This e-mail is intended for the addressee shown. It contains information that is confidential and protected from disclosure. Any
review, dissemination or use of this transmission or its contents by persons or unauthorized employees of the intended
organizations is strictly prohibited.

9/29/2016

Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
https://www.justice.gov/
VIA UPS No. 1Z64589FNW92981779
Dear AG Lynch, and Director Comey:

James Comey, FBI Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
http://www.fbi.gov/
VIA UPS No. 1Z64589FNT91324183
September 22, 2016

The Ocala Star-Banner reported January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face
discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags." Meanwhile, the black schoolgirl being
intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags was wrongly cited in lieu of arrest.
U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley has jurisdiction, but there is no evidence USAFLM Bentley sought
justice for the black schoolgirl intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags.
Fine, I bear witness to the ongoing plague of white supremacy racism in central Florida.
Enclosed is my complaint to The Florida Bar against School Board attorney Steven Eleazer Lake
for white supremacy racial discrimination, and obstruction of justice for concealing records.
The Ocala Police Department has not provided records for the "Racial incident at West Port: 3
students face discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags." See enclosed.
In my view this offense was a hate crime under FS § 775.085 Evidencing prejudice while
committing offense; reclassification, because the offense involved the race/color of the black
student by three white students who used Confederate flags in a threat of force, to injure,
intimidate or interfere with the black student while she was engaged in a federally protected
activity, attending public school. 18 U.S.C. § 245. The black schoolgirl was justified in punching
the perpetrator(s) under FS § 776.012(1), use or threatened use of force in defense of person.
My Statement Of Candidacy (for president) appears on the Federal Elections Commission
website. It was accepted by the FEC on September 11, 2016, FEC-1098470, Candidate ID
P60022993. If elected, I plan, inter alia, a new type of Reconstruction for certain parts of the
South, to protect the rights of African-Americans forgotten by the US Department of Justice.
A joint statement by the American Bar Association and the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund addressing the “troubling and destabilizing loss of public confidence in the
American criminal justice system” is enclosed as part of the Florida Bar complaint. Thank you.
Sincerely,

Neil J. Gillespie, 8092 SW 115th Loop, Ocala, Florida 34481, Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Friday Posted Jan 29, 2016 at 5:20 PM

By Joe CallahanStaff writer

Three West Port High School students who taunted classmates on Thursday by
waving Confederate flags during school will be disciplined, according to Marion
County School District officials.
West Port High School Principal Jayne Ellspermann said moments after the white
students — two boys and a girl — began taunting, an argument ensued and one
black female student threw a punch at the taunters. Within a few minutes,
teachers and the school's resource officer broke up the disturbance, which at that
point was almost entirely verbal.
“Poor decisions of a few of our students led to this,” said Ellspermann, adding
that she was pleased with the quick response from staff to keep things from
escalating.
Ellspermann, who was the nation's principal of the year in 2014, said social media
after the fact is now the biggest problem.
By late Thursday night, and all day Friday, posts on Facebook have portrayed the
incident as a race riot. School staff are looking into reports of related videos on

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Facebook.
Ellspermann said that many more students, who are escalating the situation on
Facebook, will be disciplined by the time their investigation is completed.
Some people may argue that the students have freedom of speech when it comes
to Facebook postings, or even for waving the Confederate flags. The district says
that is not the case if those actions are causing a disruption at school.
For example: If an after-school Facebook post indicates that one person will do
harm to another student at school, the district can act and impose a suspension
because the actions could disrupt school.
Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said the flag-waving
students' prime objective was to disrupt school. And for that, they can be
disciplined.
“It was a planned, calculated incident,” Christian said. “They were trying to solicit
a reaction.”
One West Port High parent, Erika Boone, has a freshman attending the school.
She had heard rumors of race riots and called the Star-Banner. Once she was
contacted, she said she had since found out that the situation was handled
properly at West Port, but wished she would have known about it.
“They should have called all the parents,” said Boone, specifically talking about
the district's automated calling system.
The Ocala Police Department issued the female student who threw a punch a
citation in lieu of arrest, Christian said on Friday.

Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com.
Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.

Page 1 of 2

Neil Gillespie
From:
To:
Cc:
Sent:
Attach:
Subject:

"Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
"Cynthia Barnes" <cbarnes@ocalapd.org>
"FBI Tampa Division" <tampa.division@ic.fbi.gov>; "FBI Jacksonville Division"
<jacksonville@ic.fbi.gov>; "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 1:51 PM
201600021378 JCC.pdf; Racial incident at West Port_ 3 students face discipline after taunts while
waving Confederate flags.pdf
Re: Public Records Request; Hate Crime at West Port High School, Ocala, Florida

Sgt. C. L. Barnes, P.I.O.
Ocala Police Dept.
Dear Sgt. Barnes,
Thank you for this public record. On September 14, 2016 I contacted the Marion County School
Board/Kevin Christian prior to my record request to you. At first Kevin Christian was non-responsive,
so I emailed the School Board members, and certain school officials. Eventually I got with Steven
Lake, School Board Attorney. As of today they have not provided any records. Kevin Christian and
Steven Lake claim there are no records, and that my record request was too broad for them to locate
records. The Ocala Star-Banner story says the school did an investigation, which I requested, along
with any conclusion, and report and recommendation, etc., but I got the same response, and that student
files are confidential.
Getting back to the record you provided, it does not mention three white students who used a
Confederate flag in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere with a black student while
attending public school, who responded with a punch.
The initial incident was a hate crime under 775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense;
reclassification, because the offense involved the race/color of the black victim by three white students
who used a Confederate flag in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere with the black victim
while engaged in a federally protected activity, attending public school, 18 U.S. Code § 245 - Federally
protected activities. The hate crime victim was justified in punching the perpetrator(s) under 776.012
(1) Use or threatened use of force in defense of person. So I do not understand why the record you
provided omits the facts of the hate crime, unless you inadvertently provided the wrong public record.
If so, provide the correct public record immediately.
Also, I requested, but did not get, the name of the attorney for the Ocala PD.
Sincerely,
Neil J. Gillespie
----- Original Message ----From: Cynthia Barnes
To: Neil Gillespie
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Public Records Request
Morning,
The copy of the Juvenile Civil Citation is attached. I hope this is what you are looking for, I will continue to search. Of
course, if you have not already done so you will need to contact Marion County School Board/Kevin Christian in
reference to the school inquiry.

9/22/2016

Page 2 of 2

>>> "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net> 09/16/2016 10:44 AM >>>
CYNTHIA BARNES
Public Information Officer
Ocala Police Website
402 South Pine Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
Phone: 352-369-7131
Email: cbarnes@ocalapd.org
Public Records Request. F.S. § 119.07(1)(c) All public records requests shall be acknowledged promptly and in good
faith. Access to public records and meetings, Art. I, Sec. 24, Fla. Const.
This is a request for public records for the racial incident at West Port High School described in the Ocala Star-Banner
January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags."
A PDF copy of the story is attached.
The Ocala Star-Banner quoted District Spokesman Kevin Christian "It was a planned, calculated incident" and "They
were trying to solicit a reaction". In addition, provide records for canceled school days, and/or students kept home fearing
a race riot. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net

9/22/2016

https://webforms.fec.gov/webforms/form2/final.htm

HOME / ELECTRONIC FILING / ONLINE FILING / ONLINE WEBFORMS / FORM 2 / COMMITTEE

ACCEPTED FEC-1098470
The Candidate ID : P60022993

Thank you. Your filing has been successfully submitted to the
FEC.

Click here to view your filing details
Click here to return to Webforms
Commission regulations require Principal Campaign
Committees to register with the FEC by filing a
Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1) no later
than 10 days after designation by the candidate (11
CFR §102.1(a)).
Click here to complete your Form 1

09/11/2016 01 : 52
Image# 201609119030767061

PAGE 1 / 2

FEC FORM 2
STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY
1. (a) Name of Candidate (in full)
Neil J. Gillespie
(b) Address (number and street)

Check if address changed

2. Candidate’s FEC Identification Number

8092 SW 115th Loop

(c) City, State, and ZIP Code
Ocala

FL

4. Par ty Affiliation

5. Office Sought

P60022993
3. Is This
Statement ✘

34481

New
(N)

OR

Amended
(A)

6. State & District of Candidate

Presidential

UN

DESIGNATION OF PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
7. I hereby designate the following named political committee as my Principal Campaign Committee for the

2016
election(s).
(year of election)

NOTE: This designation should be filed with the appropriate office listed in the instructions.
(a) Name of Committee (in full)

No registered Principal Campaign Committee yet; my home address:
(b) Address (number and street)
8092 SW 115th Loop
(c) City, State, and ZIP Code

FL

Ocala

34481

DESIGNATION OF OTHER AUTHORIZED COMMITTEES
(Including Joint Fundraising Representatives)
8. I hereby authorize the following named committee, which is NOT my principal campaign committee, to receive and expend funds on behalf of my
candidacy.
NOTE: This designation should be filed with the principal campaign committee.
(a) Name of Committee (in full)

(b) Address (number and street)

(c) City, State, and ZIP Code

I certify that I have examined this Statement and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is true, correct and complete.
Signature of Candidate

Neil J. Gillespie

.

Date

[Electronically Filed]

09/11/2016

NOTE: Submission of false, erroneous, or incomplete information may subject the person signing this Statement to penalties of 2 U.S.C. §437g.

FEC FORM 2 (REV. 02/2009)

PAGE 2 / 2 
Image# 201609119030767062
)(&0,6&(//$1(2867(;75(/$7('72$5(32576&+('8/(25,7(0,=$7,21 

Form/Schedule: F2N
Transaction ID :

Memo #1: I am a qualified person with a disability. I request disability accommodation under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 12181 et. seq, including the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, as
amended, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 701 et. seq, including Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. This disability
accommodation request also seeks a prohibition against disability discrimination. Memo #2: I am filing a FEC Form 2:
Statement of Candidacy, but got this message at the end: "Are you sure you want to submit this report electronically?
Filing a Form 1 through this system constitutes an electronic filing. Committees are required to file electronically if total
contributions received or total expenditures made exceed, or are expected to exceed, $50,000 in any calendar year.
Committees who are not required to file electronically, but choose to do so, must continue to file electronically for that
calendar year. 11 C.F.R. 104.18"

Form/Schedule:
Transaction ID:

VIA U.P.S. No. 1Z64589FP295347371
Email: jharkness@flabar.org
John F. Harkness, Jr., Executive Director
The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
Dear Mr. Harkness:

September 21, 2016
Steven Lake violated Rule 4-8.4 Misconduct
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty,
fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation...
(d) engage in conduct in connection with the
practice of law that is prejudicial to the
administration of justice...on account of race

This is a complaint against Steven Eleazer Lake for white supremacy racial discrimination, and
obstruction of justice, against an African-American female student of West Port High School,
who was apparently punished for being a victim of a hate crime by three white students, and
concealing records thereto, specifically a report of the incident that I requested under 119 et seq.
Steven Eleazer Lake, Florida Bar ID # 54250
Legal Department, The School Board of Marion County, Florida
512 SE 3rd St., Ocala, FL 34471-2212
Email: Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us
The Ocala Star-Banner reported January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face
discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags." A copy of the story is enclosed.
The Ocala Star-Banner reported inter alia the following :

“West Port High School Principal Jayne Ellspermann said moments after the white students
— two boys and a girl — began taunting, an argument ensued and one black female student
threw a punch at the taunters.”

Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said the flag-waving students'
prime objective was to disrupt school. And for that, they can be disciplined. “It was a
planned, calculated incident,” Christian said. “They were trying to solicit a reaction.”

The Ocala Police Department issued the female student who threw a punch a citation in lieu
of arrest, Christian said on Friday.

On September 19, 2016 clarified my initial public records request as follows:
Dear Mr. Lake:
In response to your email, this is a clear description of the records I am seeking: Provide
a copy of the investigation mentioned in the attached Ocala Star-Banner news article. I
highlighted the paragraph for you.
"Ellspermann said that many more students, who are escalating the situation on
Facebook, will be disciplined by the time their investigation is completed."
Provide all records of the investigation, and any conclusion, report or recommendation.

The Florida Bar
Complaint - Steven Eleazer Lake

September 21, 2016
Page - 2

As of today I do not show a response from Mr. Lake. Instead I got an email non-response from
nonlawyer Kevin Christian Monday, September 19, 2016, see enclosed.
In my view, the Ocala Star-Banner story reported that three white students used a Confederate
flag in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere with a black student while attending
public school, a federally protected activity, who responded with justifiable force, a punch.
In my view the incident was a hate crime under 775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing
offense; reclassification, because the offense involved the race/color of the black victim by three
white students who used a Confederate flag in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere
with the black victim while she was engaged in a federally protected activity, attending public
school, 18 U.S. Code § 245. The hate crime victim was justified in punching the perpetrator(s)
under 776.012(1) Use or threatened use of force in defense of person. Also see,
Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 Policy of zero tolerance for crime and victimization
Fla. Stat. § 1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited
Fla. Stat. § 784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties
Principal Jayne Ellspermann is the wife of David R. Ellspermann, Marion County Clerk of Court
& Comptroller. David Ellspermann was successfully sued for employment discrimination, and
the county’s insurer paid a settlement of $125,000 to Antonio J. Ortiz-Carballo, see,
Ortiz-Carballo v. Ellspermann, Florida Middle District Court, Case No. 5:08-cv-00165
District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges, presiding, Nature of Suit: 442 Civil Rights: Jobs
Reportedly Ellspermann told Ortiz-Carballo, There is to be no Spanish spoken in my office
Lawsuit and Settlement documents in Ortiz-Carballo v Ellspermann
https://www.scribd.com/document/271966970/
David Ellspermann used taxpayer funds to purchase Confederate flag(s) for display on Marion
County government property. David Ellspermann displays images of Confederate currency on
the Clerk’s public website. David Ellspermann displays a neo-Confederate fairy tale account of
the American Civil War on the Clerk’s public website, see Marion County's 150 Year
Commemoration of the War Between the States 1861-1865. Fairy tale accounts of the American
Civil War, and slavery in the United States, undermine the civil rights of African-Americans.
An inscription on Johnny Reb, the Marion County Confederate Soldier Statue, states,
http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/civilwar/monuments/ocala/front-nw-face.jpg.php

The South Reveres Her Washington, Jefferson, Madison,
Monroe, Andrew Jackson, And Others, Who Laid The
Foundations Of Our Grand Republic. She Honors Her Lee,
Stonewall Jackson, Stuart, Johnson, Forest, And Every
Brave Son Who Fought To Preserve Our Liberties,
Guaranteed By The Fathers, Under The Constitution.

The Florida Bar
Complaint - Steven Eleazer Lake

September 21, 2016
Page - 3

There is no mention of Abraham Lincoln, et al., just the slave-owning U.S. presidents: One in
four U.S. presidents were slaveholders: 12 owned slaves at some point in their lives. Tellingly, 8
presidents owned slaves while living in the White House. Also noteworthy is Nathan Bedford
Forrest a Confederate lieutenant general during the American Civil War...who served as the first
Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan...Forrest was accused of war crimes at the Battle of Fort
Pillow. The Constitution described on the Confederate statue means the original Constitution of
1789 that permitted slavery, not the U.S. Constitution and Thirteenth Amendment (1865),
Fourteenth Amendment (1868), and Fifteenth Amendment (1870) in place when the statue was
erected in 1908.

The Gettysburg Address, and equality, is rejected by Marion County, Florida,

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth...a new nation, conceived in Liberty,
and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal... Now we are engaged in a great
civil war, testing whether that nation... can... endure...we here highly resolve...that this nation
shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth." - Abraham Lincoln
The Military Order Of The Stars and Bars, Florida, Marion County, Marion Dragoons #164
Newsletter Winter 2013, page 8: “Lord, we give thanks to you for the blessing of being able to
honor our ancestors who gave their all to protect us, defend our honor and uphold the original
intent of our Constitution.” (Slavery in the United States)
Marion County Florida has a long history of lynching, described in Lethal Punishment: The End
of Lynching in Marion County, Florida by Margaret Vandiver. Chapter Five: “The First Time a
Charge Like This Has Ever Been Tried in the Courts” pp. 70-88. Excerpts below from page 70
and page 72 respectively:
"Between 1885 and 1930, nineteen black men were lynched
in Marion County, nine of them for sexual offenses. Marion
County lynchings were public affairs, often carried out before
hundreds of witnesses, but none of the perpetrators was
prosecuted."
"Marion County mobs sometimes left a placard or a sign
attached to the body of the victim; when Robert Larkin was
lynched in 1893, the mob left a placard reading, "Done by
300 of the best citizens of this county."

People Lynched in Marion County, Florida (partial list from Table 9)
1. Robert Larkin lynched July 12, 1893, black male
2. Nero Young lynched May 15, 1894, black male

The Florida Bar
Complaint - Steven Eleazer Lake

September 21, 2016
Page - 4

3. William Jackson lynched December 1, 1894, black male
4. William Jones lynched December 15, 1894, black male
5. John Richards lynched February 17, 1915, black male
6. Joseph Nimrod lynched December 29, 1915, black male
7. Richard Anderson lynched January 28, 1916, black male
8. Elijah Jones lynched February 12, 1921, black male
9. Chandler Colding lynched January 11, 1926, black male
“John Richard’s offense was allegedly sending an insulting note to a white woman. Near the end
of the Civil War, several black Union soldiers in Marion County were burned to death for
supposedly trying to recruit other blacks into the Union army.”
Page 72, last paragraph, "White supremacy was deeply established in Marion County. In 1924,
the Ocala Banner gave front-page space to an announcement that the Ku Klux Klan would be
organizing a chapter in Marion County. Interested parties were instructed to send their name,
church and lodge affiliations, and their place of birth, "only 100 per cent Americans wanted."
The initiation fee was ten dollars and robes cost another five dollars."[fn 14, Ocala Banner, May
30, 1924, 1.]
Pages 72-73 "The tradition of lynching was also deeply rooted in the county. The author of a
memoir of the community of Citra recalled the route taken by the local school bus in the 1920s: "it
went through Cabbage Hammock, by Mr. Wartman's fence, and then by 'The Hanging Tree,' where
it was not unusual to see pieces of frayed rope swaying from a stout limb, in the early morning
light." [fn15]. Lynching seems to have had broad support among whites in Marion County."
Page 73, second paragraph, "Until the middle of the 1920s, the local press took a uniformly
approving tone when reporting lynchings. When Elijah Jones was lynched for allegedly raping a
seventy-year-old white woman and attempting to assault an eleven-year-old white girl, the Ocala
Banner reported that three thousand people either participated in hanging Jones or viewed his
body after the lynching." Page 73 continued...
"The Ocala Evening Star wrote a long article on the lynching, defending it in strident terms.
According to the paper, Jones was a "bad nigger," a "filthy ruffian," a "rape fiend," and a
"degenerate young devil." Those who lynched him were not a mob but "representative citizens,
and they consider it their duty to rid their county of rapists and rattlesnakes as soon as possible."
The mob members "understood all about" a remark Jones was reported to have made, "that he
wanted white because he was tired of black. That is the inspiration of all the rape fiends, and the
only thing to meet it with is hot lead and hemp." The paper scornfully dismissed an inquiry from
the Associated Press concerning race troubles in Marion County, insisting that all was quiet and
that everyone was going about their business as usual." [fn16, Ocala Banner, February 18,
1921,5; Ocala Evening Star, February 14,1921,1.]
Page 71, "The Ku Klux Klan was active in Marion County, and in one case lynched the
suspected murderers of a white man, hanging the skeleton of one of their victims from a tree near
Ocala." [fn6]

The Florida Bar
Complaint - Steven Eleazer Lake

September 21, 2016
Page - 5

Pages 71-72, "A striking aspect of lynching in Marion County is the frequency with which mobs
took their victims from the custody of law enforcement, apparently meeting little or no
resistance. Of the fifteen cases in which I have been able to determine the circumstances of the
suspect's capture by the mob, all but two involved suspects already in the custody of law
enforcement officers."
Lethal Punishment: Chapter Five, The End of Lynching in Marion County, Florida, online see,
https://www.scribd.com/document/284372795/The-End-of-Lynching-in-Marion-County-Florida

The American Bar Association (ABA) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
have issued a joint statement addressing the "troubling and destabilizing loss of public
confidence in the American criminal justice system."
The enclosed statement notes the "recent spate of killings of unarmed African American men and
women at the hands of white law enforcement officers." While the ABA and the Fund believe
that "the overwhelming percentage" of police, prosecutors and judges are not racist, "explicit
bias remains a real factor in our country—and criminal justice system—and implicit or
unconscious bias affects even those who may believe themselves to be fair," the statement says.
"The American criminal justice is unquestionably at a moment of crisis," the statement says.
Under penalties of perjury, I declare that the foregoing facts are true, correct and complete.
Sincerely,

Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481

Telephone: 352-854-7807
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net

Enclosures

Below is the image of Clerk David R. Ellspermann, and his Confederate Currency Archives
found on the Marion County Clerk of Court public website at this URL,
http://www.marioncountyclerk.org/index.cfm?Pg=historicaldocuments

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Friday Posted Jan 29, 2016 at 5:20 PM

By Joe CallahanStaff writer

Three West Port High School students who taunted classmates on Thursday by
waving Confederate flags during school will be disciplined, according to Marion
County School District officials.
West Port High School Principal Jayne Ellspermann said moments after the white
students — two boys and a girl — began taunting, an argument ensued and one
black female student threw a punch at the taunters. Within a few minutes,
teachers and the school's resource officer broke up the disturbance, which at that
point was almost entirely verbal.
“Poor decisions of a few of our students led to this,” said Ellspermann, adding
that she was pleased with the quick response from staff to keep things from
escalating.
Ellspermann, who was the nation's principal of the year in 2014, said social media
after the fact is now the biggest problem.
By late Thursday night, and all day Friday, posts on Facebook have portrayed the
incident as a race riot. School staff are looking into reports of related videos on

http://www.ocala.com/news/20160129/racial-incident-at-west-port-3-students-face-discipline-after-taunts-while-waving-confederate-flags

Facebook.
Ellspermann said that many more students, who are escalating the situation on
Facebook, will be disciplined by the time their investigation is completed.
Some people may argue that the students have freedom of speech when it comes
to Facebook postings, or even for waving the Confederate flags. The district says
that is not the case if those actions are causing a disruption at school.
For example: If an after-school Facebook post indicates that one person will do
harm to another student at school, the district can act and impose a suspension
because the actions could disrupt school.
Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said the flag-waving
students' prime objective was to disrupt school. And for that, they can be
disciplined.
“It was a planned, calculated incident,” Christian said. “They were trying to solicit
a reaction.”
One West Port High parent, Erika Boone, has a freshman attending the school.
She had heard rumors of race riots and called the Star-Banner. Once she was
contacted, she said she had since found out that the situation was handled
properly at West Port, but wished she would have known about it.
“They should have called all the parents,” said Boone, specifically talking about
the district's automated calling system.
The Ocala Police Department issued the female student who threw a punch a
citation in lieu of arrest, Christian said on Friday.

Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com.
Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.

Page 1 of 5

Neil Gillespie
From:
To:
Cc:

Sent:
Attach:
Subject:

"Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
"Lake, Steven - Board Attorney" <Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us>
"Harkness, John F" <jharkness@floridabar.org>; "Relations, Public"
<Public.Relations@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Boston-Ellis, Theresa - Deputy Superintendent, Operations"
<Theresa.Boston-Ellis@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Bundrick, Paula - Executive Assistant Superintendent
Office" <Paula.Bundrick@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Krysalka, Lisa - Deputy Superintendent"
<Lisa.Krysalka@marion.k12.fl.us>; "King, Kelly - School Board" <Kelly.King@marion.k12.fl.us>;
"Boynton, Angelia - School Board" <Angelia.Boynton@marion.k12.fl.us>; "James, Bobby - School
Board" <Bobby.James@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Ely, Carol - School Board" <Carol.Ely@marion.k12.fl.us>;
"Stacy, Nancy - School Board" <Nancy.Stacy@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Christian, Kevin - Public Relations"
<Kevin.Christian@marion.k12.fl.us>; "Eason, Jill - Public Relations" <Jill.Eason@marion.k12.fl.us>
Monday, September 19, 2016 2:11 PM
Racial incident at West Port_ 3 students face discipline after taunts while waving Confederate flags
MARK-UP.pdf
Re: Amended Response to 9/14/16 Florida Public Records Request

Steven Eleazer Lake
Legal Department
The School Board of Marion County, Florida
512 SE 3rd St
Ocala, FL 34471-2212
Email: Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us
Cc: John F. Harkness, Executive Director
The Florida Bar.
Public Records Request. F.S. § 119.07(1)(c) All public records requests shall be acknowledged promptly
and in good faith. Access to public records and meetings, Art. I, Sec. 24, Fla. Const.
Dear Mr. Lake:
In response to your email, this is a clear description of the records I am seeking: Provide a copy of the
investigation mentioned in the attached Ocala Star-Banner news article. I highlighted the paragraph for
you.
"Ellspermann said that many more students, who are escalating the situation on
Facebook, will be disciplined by the time their investigation is completed."
Provide all records of the investigation, and any conclusion, report or recomondation.
Sincerely,
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net
----- Original Message ----From: Lake, Steven - Board Attorney
To: Neil Gillespie
Cc: Harkness, John F ; Relations, Public ; Boston-Ellis, Theresa - Deputy Superintendent, Operations ; Bundrick,
Paula - Executive Assistant Superintendent Office ; Krysalka, Lisa - Deputy Superintendent ; King, Kelly - School

9/21/2016

Page 2 of 5

Board ; Boynton, Angelia - School Board ; James, Bobby - School Board ; Ely, Carol - School Board ; Stacy,
Nancy - School Board ; Christian, Kevin - Public Relations ; Eason, Jill - Public Relations
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 11:47 AM
Subject: Amended Response to 9/14/16 Florida Public Records Request

Mr. Gillespie,
This email amends the School District’s original response to your Florida Public Records Act (Chapter
119) request sent this morning. The Florida Public Records Act entitles you to inspect and copy "public
records," including all documents, maps, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing
software, or other material, made or received pursuant to law or in connection with the official business
of the School District. The law requires you to communicate a clear description of the records that you
are seeking.
Your original request did not appear to communicate a clear description of the records that you are
seeking. However, in the interest of assisting you and to ensure full compliance with the law, the
School District will conduct a further investigation into whether it can locate any “public records” which
may be related to the Ocala Star-Banner article dated January 29, 2016, titled "Racial incident at West
Port: 3 students face discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags."
The Florida Public Records Act does not compel agencies to respond to requests within a specific time
limit, but courts have held that an agency is required to respond within a "reasonable" time to locate
the records and redact exempt portions. The School District shall contact you when its investigation
and review process is complete.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while the School District investigates your request.

Steven E. Lake

Attorney for The School Board of Marion County, Florida
512 S.E. 3rd Street
Ocala, Florida  34471
352.867.2176
Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us
E-mail messages made or received by public agency employees in connection with official business are public records under the Public
Records Act of the State of Florida and, absent specific exemption, subject to full disclosure. E-mail addresses are also public records
under the Public Records Act. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, communicate with
this public agency employee by telephone or in writing.
This e-mail is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged,
confidential or otherwise exempt from disclosure.  If the reader of this e-mail is not the intended recipient (or the employee or agent
responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient), you are notified that any dissemination, distribution and/or copying of
this e-mail is prohibited.  If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender promptly by reply e-mail, delete this e-mail, and
destroy any printed copies.
From: Neil Gillespie [mailto:neilgillespie@mfi.net]
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 10:38 AM
To: Relations, Public <Public.Relations@marion.k12.fl.us>; Boston-Ellis, Theresa - Deputy
Superintendent, Operations <Theresa.Boston-Ellis@marion.k12.fl.us>; Bundrick, Paula Executive Assistant Superintendent Office <Paula.Bundrick@marion.k12.fl.us>; Krysalka, Lisa
- Deputy Superintendent <Lisa.Krysalka@marion.k12.fl.us>; King, Kelly - School Board
<Kelly.King@marion.k12.fl.us>; Boynton, Angelia - School Board
<Angelia.Boynton@marion.k12.fl.us>; James, Bobby - School Board
<Bobby.James@marion.k12.fl.us>; Ely, Carol - School Board <Carol.Ely@marion.k12.fl.us>;
Lake, Steven - Board Attorney <Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us>; Stacy, Nancy - School Board
<Nancy.Stacy@marion.k12.fl.us>
Cc: Harkness, John F <jharkness@floridabar.org>; Neil Gillespie <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Subject: Re: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST to Steven Eleazer Lake Legal Department The School

9/21/2016

Page 3 of 5

Board of Marion County, Florida

Steven Eleazer Lake
Legal Department
The School Board of Marion County, Florida
512 SE 3rd St
Ocala, FL 34471-2212
Email: Steven.Lake@marion.k12.fl.us
Cc: John F. Harkness, Executive Director
The Florida Bar.
Public Records Request. F.S. § 119.07(1)(c) All public records requests shall be acknowledged
promptly and in good faith. Access to public records and meetings, Art. I, Sec. 24, Fla. Const.
Dear Mr. Lake:
Below is the email response of "no records" from Jill Eason-Assistant Public Relations, who identified
you as the "legal department". This is the body of my records request:
"This is a request for public records for the racial incident at West Port High School described in the
Ocala Star-Banner January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face discipline after
taunts while waiving Confederate flags." A PDF copy of the story is attached."
"The Ocala Star-Banner quoted District Spokesman Kevin Christian "It was a planned, calculated
incident" and "They were trying to solicit a reaction". In addition, provide records for canceled school
days, and/or students kept home fearing a race riot. Thank you."
Apparently you are the person who advised the School Board of Marion County, Florida that there are
no responsive records. Seems to me The School Board of Marion County, Florida ought to have records
of a race riot at West Port - or whatever term you choose to use. In other words, it's the hate crime by
white students against a black student. It's the hate crime of waiving a confederate flag in the face of an
African-American student. It's the confederate flag issue at West Port.
By the way, Jill Eason ought to study Chapter 119. Her gibberish interpretation is wrong.
Attached is a PDF of Chapter 119 - and The Florida Bar Candor Packet.
This is my final attempt to get records prior to filing a bar complaint against you, and taking other legal
action.
Sincerely,
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net
----- Original Message ----From: Relations, Public
To: Neil Gillespie
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 9:39 AM
Subject: RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

Dear Mr. Gillespie:

9/21/2016

Page 4 of 5

I have received and reviewed your September 14, 2016, “Public Records” request which you
emailed to the Public Relations Department. Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) will respond
based on the plain meaning of your requests, and will make no effort to edit or interpret your requests.
RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR INSPECTION
Request 1:
“This is a request for public records for the racial incident at West Port High School
described in the Ocala Star-Banner January 29, 2016, “Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face
discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags.” A PDF copy of the story is attached. The
Ocala Star-Banner quoted District Spokesman Kevin Christian “It was a planned, calculated
incident” and “They were trying to solicit a reaction.”
Response to 1:
MCPS does not have public records responsive to your request.
Request 2:
“In addition, provide records for canceled school days, and/or students kept home fearing a
race riot.”
Response to 2:
MCPS does not have public records responsive to your request.
Sincerely,
Jill Eason-Assistant
Public Relations
Marion County Public Schools
352 671-7555

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”—Milton Berle
From: Neil Gillespie [mailto:neilgillespie@mfi.net]
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:27 AM
To: Relations, Public <Public.Relations@marion.k12.fl.us>
Cc: Neil Gillespie <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Subject: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

Public Relations Office
Public Records Request
Email: public.relations@marion.k12.fl.us
Public Records Request. F.S. § 119.07(1)(c) All public records requests shall be acknowledged
promptly and in good faith. Access to public records and meetings, Art. I, Sec. 24, Fla. Const.
This is a request for public records for the racial incident at West Port High School described in the
Ocala Star-Banner January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face discipline after
taunts while waiving Confederate flags." A PDF copy of the story is attached.
The Ocala Star-Banner quoted District Spokesman Kevin Christian "It was a planned, calculated

9/21/2016

Page 5 of 5

incident" and "They were trying to solicit a reaction". In addition, provide records for canceled school
days, and/or students kept home fearing a race riot. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, Florida 34481
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net
[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. All correspondence sent to or from this entity is subject to the Public Records Law of Florida. Email
communication may be subject to public and media disclosure upon request. Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not
want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by
phone or in writing.]

~An Equal Opportunity School District~

[Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. All correspondence sent to or from this entity is subject to the Public Records Law of Florida. Email
communication may be subject to public and media disclosure upon request. Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not
want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by
phone or in writing.]

~An Equal Opportunity School District~

9/21/2016

Text of email response from Kevin Christian Monday, September 19, 2016

Mr. Gillespie, thank you for your follow-up response. As Mr. Lake previously shared, Florida
State Statute 119.07 dictates requests for public records shall be permitted “at any reasonable
time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the public records.”
In our district, we strive to provide records as quickly as possible, normally 3-5 business days
after the request is received, depending on the scope and depth of the request. I’m sorry you feel
we did not respond your request quickly.
If your request stands without clarification, Marion County Public Schools has no records that
meet your requests. You request is vague at best and requires clarity. However, in the interest of
the event you reference and in the spirit of cooperation, particular to your Request 1, any records
that do exist are student discipline records exempted by Florida State Statutes 119, 1002.221 and
FERPA due to student privacy. Particular to your Request 2, there were no “canceled school
days,” and student attendance reports are not categorized by reason of absence.
If you wish to clarify your requests, we are happy to accommodate and meet them as allowed
under current law.
Many thanks.
Kevin
Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC
Public Relations Officer / Coordinator of Multimedia Productions
Marion County Public Schools
P: 352.671.7555
F: 352.671.7735
http://www.marionschools.net/

http://www.floridabar.org/divexe/rrtfb.nsf/FV/0B6C8E5CDCA464D685257172004B0FBD

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RULE 4-8.4 MISCONDUCT
4 RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
4-8 MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION

RULE 4-8.4 MISCONDUCT
A lawyer shall not:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through
the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, except that it shall not be professional misconduct
for a lawyer for a criminal law enforcement agency or regulatory agency to advise others about or to supervise another in an
undercover investigation, unless prohibited by law or rule, and it shall not be professional misconduct for a lawyer employed in a
capacity other than as a lawyer by a criminal law enforcement agency or regulatory agency to participate in an undercover
investigation, unless prohibited by law or rule;
(d) engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to
knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel,
or other lawyers on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability,
marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the
Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
(g) fail to respond, in writing, to any official inquiry by bar counsel or a disciplinary agency, as defined elsewhere in these rules,
when bar counsel or the agency is conducting an investigation into the lawyer's conduct. A written response shall be made:
(1) within 15 days of the date of the initial written investigative inquiry by bar counsel, grievance committee, or board of
governors;
(2) within 10 days of the date of any follow-up written investigative inquiries by bar counsel, grievance committee, or board of
governors;
(3) within the time stated in any subpoena issued under these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar (without additional time
allowed for mailing);
(4) as provided in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure or order of the referee in matters assigned to a referee; and
(5) as provided in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure or order of the Supreme Court of Florida for matters pending action
by that court.
Except as stated otherwise herein or in the applicable rules, all times for response shall be calculated as provided elsewhere in these

http://www.floridabar.org/divexe/rrtfb.nsf/FV/0B6C8E5CDCA464D685257172004B0FBD

Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and may be extended or shortened by bar counsel or the disciplinary agency making the official
inquiry upon good cause shown.
Failure to respond to an official inquiry with no good cause shown may be a matter of contempt and processed in accordance with
rule 3-7.11(f) of these Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.
(h) willfully refuse, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, to timely pay a child support obligation; or
(i) engage in sexual conduct with a client or a representative of a client that exploits or adversely affects the interests of the client or
the lawyer-client relationship.
If the sexual conduct commenced after the lawyer-client relationship was formed it shall be presumed that the sexual conduct
exploits or adversely affects the interests of the client or the lawyer-client relationship. A lawyer may rebut this presumption by
proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the sexual conduct did not exploit or adversely affect the interests of the client or
the lawyer-client relationship.
The prohibition and presumption stated in this rule do not apply to a lawyer in the same firm as another lawyer representing the
client if the lawyer involved in the sexual conduct does not personally provide legal services to the client and is screened from
access to the file concerning the legal representation.
Comment
Lawyers are subject to discipline when they violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or
induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, as when they request or instruct an agent to do so on the lawyer's
behalf. Subdivision (a), however, does not prohibit a lawyer from advising a client concerning action the client is legally entitled to
take, provided that the client is not used to indirectly violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful
failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offense carry no such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was
drawn in terms of offenses involving "moral turpitude." That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters
of personal morality, such as adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law.
Although a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for
offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offenses involving violence, dishonesty, breach of trust,
or serious interference with the administration of justice are in that category. A pattern of repeated offenses, even ones of minor
significance when considered separately, can indicate indifference to legal obligation.
A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The
provisions of rule 4-1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning, or application of the law apply to
challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law.
Subdivision (c) recognizes instances where lawyers in criminal law enforcement agencies or regulatory agencies advise others about
or supervise others in undercover investigations, and provides an exception to allow the activity without the lawyer engaging in
professional misconduct. The exception acknowledges current, acceptable practice of these agencies. Although the exception
appears in this rule, it is also applicable to rules 4-4.1 and 4-4.3. However, nothing in the rule allows the lawyer to engage in such
conduct if otherwise prohibited by law or rule.
Subdivision (d) of this rule proscribes conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Such proscription includes the
prohibition against discriminatory conduct committed by a lawyer while performing duties in connection with the practice of law.
The proscription extends to any characteristic or status that is not relevant to the proof of any legal or factual issue in dispute. Such
conduct, when directed towards litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers, whether based on race, ethnicity,
gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, physical

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characteristic, or any other basis, subverts the administration of justice and undermines the public's confidence in our system of
justice, as well as notions of equality. This subdivision does not prohibit a lawyer from representing a client as may be permitted by
applicable law, such as, by way of example, representing a client accused of committing discriminatory conduct.
Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office
can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as
trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, or agent and officer, director, or manager of a corporation or other organization.
A lawyer's obligation to respond to an inquiry by a disciplinary agency is stated in subdivision (g) of this rule and subdivision (h)(2)
of rule 3-7.6. While response is mandatory, the lawyer may deny the charges or assert any available privilege or immunity or
interpose any disability that prevents disclosure of a certain matter. A response containing a proper invocation thereof is sufficient
under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. This obligation is necessary to ensure the proper and efficient operation of the
disciplinary system.
Subdivision (h) of this rule was added to make consistent the treatment of attorneys who fail to pay child support with the treatment
of other professionals who fail to pay child support, in accordance with the provisions of section 61.13015, Florida Statutes. That
section provides for the suspension or denial of a professional license due to delinquent child support payments after all other
available remedies for the collection of child support have been exhausted. Likewise, subdivision (h) of this rule should not be used
as the primary means for collecting child support, but should be used only after all other available remedies for the collection of
child support have been exhausted. Before a grievance may be filed or a grievance procedure initiated under this subdivision, the
court that entered the child support order must first make a finding of willful refusal to pay. The child support obligation at issue
under this rule includes both domestic (Florida) and out-of-state (URESA) child support obligations, as well as arrearages.
Subdivision (i) proscribes exploitation of the client or the lawyer-client relationship by means of commencement of sexual conduct.
The lawyer-client relationship is grounded on mutual trust. A sexual relationship that exploits that trust compromises the lawyerclient relationship. Attorneys have a duty to exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of clients. Engaging in sexual
relationships with clients has the capacity to impair the exercise of that judgment.
Sexual conduct between a lawyer and client violates this rule, regardless of when the sexual conduct began when compared to the
commencement of the lawyer-client relationship, if the sexual conduct exploits the lawyer-client relationship, negatively affects the
client's interest, creates a conflict of interest between the lawyer and client, or negatively affects the exercise of the lawyer's
independent professional judgment in representing the client.
Subdivision (i) creates a presumption that sexual conduct between a lawyer and client exploits or adversely affects the interests of
the client or the lawyer-client relationship if the sexual conduct is entered into after the lawyer-client relationship begins. A lawyer
charged with a violation of this rule may rebut this presumption by a preponderance of the evidence that the sexual conduct did not
exploit the lawyer-client relationship, negatively affect the client's interest, create a conflict of interest between the lawyer and
client, or negatively affect the exercise of the lawyer's independent professional judgment in representing the client.
For purposes of this rule, a "representative of a client" is an agent of the client who supervises, directs, or regularly consults with the
organization's lawyer concerning a client matter or has authority to obligate the organization with respect to the matter, or whose act
or omission in connection with the matter may be imputed to the organization for purposes of civil or criminal liability.
[Revised: 02/01/2010]

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ABA addresses 'destabilizing loss of public confidence' in criminal
justice in joint statement
POSTED JUL 16, 2015 10:46 AM CDT
BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS (HTTP://WWW.ABAJOURNAL.COM/AUTHORS/4/)

The ABA and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund have
issued a joint statement addressing the “troubling and destabilizing loss of
public confidence in the American criminal justice system.”
The statement (https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews
/aba-ldf_statement.pdf) (PDF) notes the “recent spate of killings of unarmed
African American men and women at the hands of white law enforcement
officers.” While the ABA and the Fund believe that “the overwhelming
percentage” of police, prosecutors and judges are not racist, “explicit bias
remains a real factor in our country—and criminal justice system—and
implicit or unconscious bias affects even those who may believe
themselves to be fair,” the statement says.
Image from Shutterstock
(http://www.shutterstock.com).

“The American criminal justice is unquestionably at a moment of crisis,” the
statement says.

Doubts about fairness are reinforced by statistics showing that about
two-thirds of those incarcerated are persons of color and by U.S. Justice
Department findings in its investigation of Ferguson, Missouri’s police practices, according to the statement. The
Justice Department found differences in the rates at which blacks and whites were stopped, searched, cited,
arrested and subjected to the use of force in Ferguson.
“The time to act is now,” the statement says. Among the recommendations:
• Lawmakers should review laws criminalizing behaviors that pose little danger to society. The criminal justice
system is being used to address problems of mental health and poverty, while police are taking the place of
teachers in schools that have adopted zero-tolerance policies.
• Police departments should keep data on the racial identities of people who are stopped and frisked, arrested,
ticketed and issued warnings. They should also report incidents in which serious or deadly force is used, including
the race of the officers and civilians.
• Prosecutors should collect and disclose more data that will help the public better understand the extent to which
racial disparities arise from prosecutorial discretion.
• Prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges should adopt employee training on implicit bias.
• Prosecutors’ offices should “move quickly, aggressively, unequivocally—and yet deliberately—to address
misconduct that reflects explicit racial bias.”
• Prosecution offices and police agencies should make an effort to hire and retain lawyers and officers who live in

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/aba_addresses_destabilizing_loss_of_public_confidence_in_criminal_justice_i

and reflect the communities they serve.
&•The public should have access to evidence explaining why grand juries decline to indict and why prosecutors
decline to prosecute police officers involved in fatal shootings of unarmed civilians.
• Police officers should be trained how to defuse tense situations. Accountability could be promoted by greater
police use of body and vehicle cameras.
• Prosecutors, judges and defense counsel must pay more attention to the collateral consequences of convictions,
which can deprive defendants of opportunities for education, employment and housing.
An ABA press release is here (https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2015/07/aba_naacp_legal_def.html).
“The American criminal justice system is clearly in need of reform on multiple levels,” ABA President William C.
Hubbard said in the press release. “As lawyers, we have a duty and responsibility to ensure the fair administration
of justice and to promote public trust in the system. The solutions are not quick or easy, but these proposals offer
a tangible and potentially significant framework to make sure the system provides justice for all.”
See also:
National Law Journal (http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202732496363/OpEd-Charleston-Massacre-is-Pivotal-Pointfor-Profession#ixzz3gTTtlN1K): “Op-Ed: Charleston Massacre is Pivotal Point for Profession”

Copyright 2016 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

JOINT STATEMENT ON ELIMINATING BIAS
IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
July 2015
The American Bar Association and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
Inc., have long and proud traditions of fighting for civil rights, human rights and equal
justice. Although, over the years, we have celebrated much progress in these arenas, we
are now confronted by a troubling and destabilizing loss of public confidence in the
American criminal justice system. The growing skepticism about the integrity of the
criminal justice system is driven by real and perceived evidence of racial bias among some
representatives of that system. This crisis of confidence must be addressed, and the time to
act is now.
While we believe that the overwhelming percentage of law enforcement officers,
prosecutors and judges are not racist, explicit bias remains a real factor in our country –
and criminal justice system – and implicit or unconscious bias affects even those who may
believe themselves to be fair. Indeed, as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy once
observed (in the 2001 case of Board of Trustees v. Garrett), prejudice may arise from not
just overt “malice or hostile animus alone,” but also “insensitivity caused by simple want of
careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people
who appear to be different in respects from ourselves.”

One would have to have been outside of the United States and cut off from media to
be unaware of the recent spate of killings of unarmed African American men and women at
the hands of white law enforcement officers. Several of these killings, like those of Walter
Scott in South Carolina, 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Ohio and Eric Garner in New York, have
been captured by citizen video and viewed nationwide. More recently, the in-custody
death of Freddie Gray sparked days of unrest in Baltimore, which ended only when the
officers (who were of multiple races) were charged by the local prosecutor.

Given the history of implicit and explicit racial bias and discrimination in this
country, there has long been a strained relationship between the African-American
community and law enforcement. But with video cameras and extensive news coverage
bringing images and stories of violent encounters between (mostly white) law enforcement
officers and (almost exclusively African-American and Latino) unarmed individuals into
American homes, it is not surprising that the absence of criminal charges in many of these
cases has caused so many people to doubt the ability of the criminal justice system to treat
individuals fairly, impartially and without regard to their race.

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

That impression is reinforced by the statistics on race in our criminal justice system.
With approximately 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has
approximately 25 percent of the world’s jail and prison population. Some two-thirds of
those incarcerated are persons of color. While crime rates may vary by neighborhood and
class, it is difficult to believe that racial disparities in arrest, prosecution, conviction and
incarceration rates are unaffected by attitudes and biases regarding race.

And, to the extent that doubts remain, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent
investigation of law enforcement practices in Ferguson, Missouri, should put them to rest.
In Ferguson, the Justice Department found that the dramatically different rates at which
African-American and white individuals in Ferguson were stopped, searched, cited,
arrested and subjected to the use of force could not be explained by chance or differences
in the rates at which African-American and white individuals violated the law. These
disparities can be explained at least in part by taking into account racial bias.

Given these realities, it is not only time for a careful look at what caused the current
crisis, but also time to initiate an affirmative effort to eradicate implied or perceived racial
bias – in all of its forms – from the criminal justice system.

As lawyers, we have a very special role to play. As the Preamble to the American
Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct states,
As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access
to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service
rendered by the legal profession. . . . In addition, a lawyer should further
the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the
justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy
depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority.

What must we do? The answer lies in making both macro and micro changes in our
criminal justice system.

At the macro level, Congress and state legislatures must look at the vast array of
laws that criminalize behaviors that pose little, if any, danger to society. We have overcriminalized conduct throughout the United States and have come inappropriately to rely
on the criminal justice system to address problems of mental health and poverty. We have
adopted unnecessary zero-tolerance policies in schools that inappropriately require police
officers to take the place of teachers and principals and become behavioral judges. We
need fewer criminal laws, and fewer circumstances in which police, prosecutors and judges
are called upon to deal with social, as opposed to criminal, issues.

Overcriminalization is such a significant problem that virtually every careful
observer of criminal justice in America, conservative or liberal, recognizes it. This
consensus presents a unique opportunity to unflinchingly confront the need to improve our
justice system.
2

July 2015

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

Decriminalization is, however, not a short-term solution to the current crisis of
confidence. Every day, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges are making
discretionary decisions in a country where, literally, any person could be arrested for
something if government officials focused sufficient time and energy on him or her.

We must therefore take immediate action at the micro level to begin the process of
rebuilding trust and confidence in the criminal justice system and fulfilling the promise of
equal justice.

Prosecutors play an important and vital role within the criminal justice system and
should be leaders in this effort. We have begun what we anticipate will be a series of
conversations focused on identifying ways in which prosecutors can play a more powerful
role in addressing the problem of racial bias our justice system. Our organizations arranged
an off-the-record discussion that included prosecutors and other participants in the
criminal justice system committed to equal justice. We emerged from our discussion with a
commitment to advancing the reforms listed below. We regard these reforms as necessary
investments that are essential to strengthening public confidence in the rule of law and the
legitimacy of our justice system.
1.
We need better data on the variety of interactions between law enforcement
and citizens. Earlier this year FBI Director James Comey – himself a former federal
prosecutor – acknowledged that gathering better and more reliable data about encounters
between the police and citizens is “the first step to understanding what is really going on in
our communities and our country.” Data related to violent encounters is particularly
important. As Director Comey remarked, “It’s ridiculous that I can’t know how many
people were shot by police.” Police departments should be encouraged to make and keep
reports on the racial identities of individuals stopped and frisked, arrested, ticketed or
warned for automobile and other infractions. Police departments should report incidents
in which serious or deadly force is used by officers and include the race of the officer(s) and
that of the civilian(s). This will certainly require investment of funds, but that investment
is key to a better future. We cannot understand what we cannot measure, and we cannot
change what we cannot understand.
2. Prosecutors should collect and publicly disclose more data about their work that
can enable the public to obtain a better understanding of the extent to which racial
disparities arise from the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. While this data collection
will also require investment of funds, it is essential to achieving the goal of eliminating
racial bias in the criminal justice system.

3. Prosecutors and police should seek assistance from organizations with expertise
in conducting objective analyses to identify and localize unexplained racial disparities.
These and similar organizations can provide evidence-based analyses and propose
protocols to address any identified racial disparities.
3

July 2015

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

4. Prosecutors’ offices, defense counsel and judges should seek expert assistance to
implement training on implicit bias for their employees. An understanding of the science of
implicit bias will pave the way for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges to
address it in their individual work. There should also be post-training evaluations to
determine the effectiveness of the training.
5. Prosecutors’ offices must move quickly, aggressively, unequivocally – and yet
deliberately – to address misconduct that reflects explicit racial bias. We must make clear
that such conduct is fundamentally incompatible with our shared values and that it has an
outsized impact on the public’s perception of the fairness of the system.

6. Prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement agencies should make efforts to hire and
retain lawyers and officers who live in and reflect the communities they serve. Prosecutors
and police should be encouraged to engage with the community by participating in
community forums, civic group meetings and neighborhood events. Prosecutors’ offices
should build relationships with African-American and minority communities to improve
their understanding about how and why these communities may view events differently
from prosecutors.
7. There should be a dialogue among all the stakeholders in each jurisdiction about
race and how it affects criminal justice decision-making. In 2004, the ABA Justice Kennedy
Commission recommended the formation of Racial Justice Task Forces – which would
consist of representatives of the judiciary, law enforcement and prosecutors, defenders and
defense counsel, probation and parole officers and community organizations – to examine
the racial impact that policing priorities and prosecutorial and judicial decisions might
produce and whether alternative approaches that do not produce racial disparities might
be implemented without compromising public safety. There is little cost associated with
the assembly of such task forces, and they can develop solutions that could be applicable to
a variety of jurisdictions provided that the various stakeholders are willing to do the hard
work of talking honestly and candidly about race.
8. As surprising as it might seem, many people do not understand what prosecutors
do. Hence, prosecutors’ offices, with the help of local and state bar associations, should
seek out opportunities to explain their function and the kinds of decisions they are
routinely called upon to make. Local and state bar associations and other community
organizations should help to educate the public that the decision not to prosecute is often
as important as the decision to prosecute; that prosecutors today should not to be judged
solely by conviction rates but, instead, by the fairness and judgment reflected in their
decisions and by their success in making communities safer for all their members; and that
some of the most innovative alternatives to traditional prosecution and punishment – like
diversion and re-entry programs, drug and veteran courts and drug treatment – have been
instigated, developed and supported by prosecutors.
9. To ensure accountability, the public should have access to evidence explaining
why grand juries issued “no true bills” and why prosecutors declined to prosecute police
4

July 2015

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

officers involved in fatal shootings of unarmed civilians. The release of grand jury
evidence, as in Ferguson, is one way to promote the needed accountability.

10. Accountability can also be promoted by greater use of body and vehicle cameras
to create an actual record of police-citizen encounters. With the proliferation of powerful
firearms in our communities, law enforcement departments reasonably seek equipment
that enable them to protect themselves and their communities when called upon to
confront armed and dangerous individuals seeking to engage in criminal or terrorist acts.
However, while it is appropriate to arm our police and train them in the use of ever-more
powerful weapons, it is equally important to train our law enforcement officers in
techniques designed to de-escalate tense situations, make accurate judgments about when
use of force is essential and properly determine the appropriate amount of force required
in each situation.

11. We must recognize that not every lawyer has the judgment and personal
qualities to be a successful prosecutor, administer justice and be willing to acknowledge
the possibility of implicit bias. Prosecutors who routinely engage in conduct or make
decisions that call into question the fairness or integrity of their offices should be removed
from office if they cannot be trained to meet the high standards expected of public officers.
At the same time, the terms “prosecutorial misconduct” and “police misconduct” should be
used with greater care. Even the best prosecutors will make mistakes, much like the best
defense lawyers and judges do. There is good reason to limit the characterization of
“misconduct” to intentional acts that violate legal or ethical rules.

12. Prosecutors, judges and defense counsel must pay more attention to the
collateral consequences of convictions. In many jurisdictions, after an individual is
convicted of an offense and completes his or her sentence (by serving time, paying a fine or
completing probation or parole), the individual nevertheless faces a life sentence of
disqualification and deprivation of educational, employment, housing and other
opportunities. This runs counter to the interests we all share in rehabilitation of the
offender and positive re-integration into and engagement with the communities in which
they live. In many cases, prosecutions can be structured to limit some of the most
pernicious of these consequences, provided that the lawyers and the courts take the time
and care to examine alternative disposition options. Prosecutors, judges and defense
counsel should join together to urge legislatures and administrative agencies to reconsider
the laws and regulations that impose these collateral consequences and determine whether
they can be modified to provide more opportunities for former offenders without
compromising public safety.
The American criminal justice is unquestionably at a moment of crisis. But there
are many steps we, as members of the bar, can and should take quickly to begin to turn the
ship of justice around and ensure that the system delivers the blind justice that it promises.
If we commit ourselves to confronting and eliminating the racial biases that now exist, we
can restore the much-needed public confidence in our criminal justice system. As Supreme
Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once exhorted in accepting the Liberty Medal Award in
5

July 2015

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

1992, “America can do better.” Indeed, “America has no choice but to do better.”

Both the American Bar Association and the Legal Defense Fund will continue to
convene meetings with prosecutors and other law enforcement groups to support the
reforms we have identified. We also will work to support and advance a robust dialogue
among prosecutors and leaders in the profession about how best to eliminate racial bias
from our justice system.
William C. Hubbard,
President, American Bar Association
Sherrilyn Ifill
President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

The following individuals participated in the discussion that led to this joint statement:
Sidney Butcher
Assistant State’s Attorney, Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office
John Chisholm
District Attorney, Milwaukee County
Kay Chopard Cohen
Executive Director, National District Attorneys Association
Angela Davis
Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
Mathias H. Heck
Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County, OH
Belinda Hill
First Assistant District Attorney, Harris County, TX
David F. Levi
Dean, Duke University School of Law
Myles Lynk
Professor of Law, Arizona State University College of Law
Wayne McKenzie
General Counsel, New York City Department of Probation
John Pfaff
Professor of Law, Fordham University
6

July 2015

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating
Bias in the Criminal Justice System

Matthew Frank Redle
County and Prosecuting Attorney, Sheridan, WY
Stephen A. Saltzburg
Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
Cyrus Vance, Jr.
District Attorney of New York County

7

July 2015

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Steven Eleazer Lake
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Bar Number:
54250

Mail Address:

The School Board of Marion County, Fla.
The School Board of Marion County, Florida
512 SE 3rd St
Ocala, FL 34471-2212
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07/17/2008

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