Sheriff Donald F Eslinger
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The "DINE & DASH" of Detective Anthony Kost

"Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud"

Sometimes it is the little things that happen in our lives that reveal the nature of a person. In our opinion, it is such a small thing which revealed what these law enforcement officers are made of.

Due to Florida State Statutes concerning ongoing criminal investigations as well as the Florida Officers Bill of Rights, www.SeminoleWatch.com cannot disclose the specifics of the investigation which set the stage for these two Detectives attracting our attention. As this investigation takes its course and in order not to interfere with the investigation, we will only disclose the specifics of the investigation when the law permits.

On Tuesday August 28th, 2012 at about 10:30 a.m., two Detectives with the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud, identified as Vince Montgomery and Anthony (Tony) Kost, entered a restaurant located in Oviedo Florida. Neither the identity of the establishment nor the employees will be revealed in this story, per the request of the business owner.

Seated in a rear booth of the restaurant was a witness which was to be interviewed by Det. Montgomery. The arrival of the second Detective was a surprise as were the first words spoken by Det. Montgomery. It would have been refreshing to hear the contents of this conversation but this would prove impossible, because the first words out of Det. Montgomery’ mouth were his advising the witness that he (Det. Montgomery) was not permitting the conversation to be tape recorded by the witness.

Now why would two Detectives conducting an official investigation while interviewing a witness to a felony crime not want a true and complete record of their interview? Perhaps someone in our reading audience can shed light on this concern, but we at www.SeminoleWatch.com can think of no reason not to tape record the interview. Is it possible that these two Detectives were afraid of what the witness would say or ask? Could it have anything to do with the fact that a previous Detective had just been removed off of the investigation and now the "B Team" was called in?

Would it not be a valuable asset for the investigator not to mention evidence if the witness were to lie to the Detectives? Did not Casey Anthony get convicted of lying to Detectives? Maybe someday we will learn why they decided to prevent the witness from recording this interview. But don’t hold your breath. It should be noted that during this interview neither Detective appeared to be taking notes, maybe they have total recall.

The interview takes approximately 45 minutes and after evidence is provided to the Detectives by the witness, both men stood up and exited the restaurant. Only one "little" problem. Det. Kost, for whatever reason, failed to ask for his check, walked past the front cash register and exited the restaurant without paying for the coffee that he ordered. As this was occurring, the waitress began walking after the Detectives and turned towards the witness and ask if they were paying his (Det. Kost’) bill. With a perplexed expression, the witness replied, "well I guess I am!"

Upon www.SeminoleWatch.com being advised of this "DINE & DASH", contact was made with the waitress and the on-duty manager to verify that neither of the Detectives offered to pay for Det. Kost’ coffee. Later that evening contact was made with the owners of the restaurant at which time they advised that neither Detective had returned to pay for Det. Kost’ coffee.

The following morning contact was made with the manager who confirmed that neither Detective had returned to pay for the coffee. Upon obtaining this information contact was made with Lt. Col. Jack Kelley the Assistant Director of the Division of Insurance Fraud located in Tallahassee Florida.

The conversation began with presenting to Lt. Col. Kelley several concerns with the manner in which the Detectives conducted the witness interview and specifically the fact that the Detectives refused to allow the witness to tape record the interview. Lt. Col. Kelley appeared to become agitated and hostile to the information being provided to him. Lt. Col. Kelley went on to state that it was the "Right" of these two Detectives not to be recorded. Lt. Col. Kelley could not explain why a true and correct recording of the interview would not be needed for the investigation. Lt. Col. Kelley went on to say that Det. Montgomery and Det. Kost were two of his finest and most professional seasoned Detectives and that his Division had over two thousand arrests/investigations. And that his Division was doing more with less.

This type of initial response is almost always predictable and expected. Some refer to it as "Professional Protectionism". The knee jerk reaction is to protect your own even if it makes no sense or logic. When talking to certain people there is a point in time that you can take the B.S. for so long. And after hearing the excuses and all the bragging on the Division and on these two "Fine Detectives", that point was reached.

Lt. Col. Kelley was then informed that the witness had another problem with the interview or rather what happened after the interview. Lt. Col. Kelley was advised that the witness was upset with the fact that they had to pay the bill for Det. Kost. You could have heard a pin drop in that moment. The first sounds which were heard were those of the keys striking a computer key board. As the story was presented to Lt. Col. Kelley it appeared that there was a softening in his tone and attitude.

The sad thing is that the investigation in question concerned over six figures and now a cup of coffee was of vital importance. Lt. Col. Kelley was immediately advised that the witness did not want to file a complaint regarding this matter and that all of us had a great laugh over the "Dine & Dash". Lt. Col. Kelley advised that he would immediately look into this matter. Now when someone says look into this matter, or call people, or get the facts, all of this sounds like you are going to "investigate" the issue.

However, www.SeminoleWatch.com, has discovered that this Division or at least three of its Detectives have a different definition of the word "investigate". This fact was discovered when during the interview the witness advised Det. Montgomery and Det. Kost that the previous Detective (whose name will be released later) had been investigating the matter. Both Detectives advised that the previous Detective had not been investigating the matter because it was not something that the supervisor does.

Now here is the funny part. This other Detective had interviewed seventeen (17) witnesses, interviewed one of the suspects and had a meeting with the head of a local law enforcement agency and obtained documents from this Agency head. And yet all of this is not an "investigation". And now you see the humor in their position.

Lt. Col. Kelley was advised that the establishment had been paid and that a dollar tip was given to the waitress as well by Jeffrey Frazier. Lt. Col. Kelley advised that he did not think that this was a laughing matter. You have to admit that a detective, while conducting an investigation, himself committing an act of retail theft, which was witnessed by another detective, while both of them being armed, is funny in an Abbott & Costello way. (1) But on a serious note, it might not have been funny if a citizen had made this mistake. Do you think we could use the excuse, Oh well I forgot or to quote Lt. Col. Kelley:

"Tony has told me that he did inadvertently walked out yesterday." (2)

Obviously Lt. Col. Kelley conducted some type of investigation, inquiry or whatever they decide to call it which resulted in Detective Kost’ admission that he "inadvertently walked out." Lt. Col. Kelley requested to know how much was owed to Jeffrey Frazier. The total amount owed was $3.32 (3) {$2.19 for the coffee, $.13 for the State of Florida (sales tax) and $1.00 tip for the waitress.}

After speaking with Lt. Col. Kelley, the witness was contacted the following day. The witness advised that they had a phone conversation with Detective Kost at which time Det. Kost apologized for the coffee incident. During this same conversation Det. Kost informed the witness that he would be sending Mr. Frazier a check. Following this telephone conversation the witness contacted Lt. Col. Kelley’s supervisor identified as Daniel S. Anderson, Director, Division of Insurance Fraud.

The witness informed Director Anderson of the coffee incident and of their concerns in the manner in which the previous Detective and Detectives Montgomery and Kost had conducted themselves. Director Anderson informed the witness that they would be contacted by another Detective who had been instructed to start the investigation all over again. Director Anderson advised the witness that the other three Detectives would no longer be investigating this matter.

On Saturday, September 1, 2012, a certified letter from the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud arrived at the residence of Jeffrey Frazier.(4) A signature for the receipt of this official letter was required from the Postman. Upon opening the State envelope it was discovered that the contents was only a blank piece of paper and a Bank of America Cashier’s Check # 8177459 in the amount of $3.32.(5) The remitter of this check was identified as "Anthony Kost".

Our story started by advising that it is the little things which we believe reveal the nature of a person. It is such a little thing, which in this case, reveals the nature of these public servants. The first Detective conducted the” non investigation” investigation. Then the "B Team" gets assigned to take over the investigation. The “B Team” then refuses to allow the witness to tape record their official interview. Then the “B Team” gives new meaning to the word "investigation". The “B Team” then finds it necessary to remind the witness where they (the witness) receive their financial support from. Why the “B Team” would find it necessary to make this reference is interesting. And finally Detective Kost stiffs the witness with the check.

Upon the conclusion of the inquiry by Lt. Col. Kelley, Detective Kost is asked, ordered, encouraged, suggested, advised or maybe instructed to pay for his coffee. Whatever words were used the outcome resulted in the reimbursement by Detective Kost. So what does Det. Kost do? Well he goes to the bank, obtains a cashier’s check, goes to the post office, then places the check in a State envelope, and mails the check. So who paid for all of this time? Did Detective Kost use his lunch hour to do all of this or did we the Taxpayers of Florida foot the bill to fix his mistake? And why is it that Detective Kost was able to use State property to mail this check? Was he so cheap to go buy an envelope? Did another State Employee authorize this use of State Taxpayers property? But then if he went to the store to buy an envelope would the taxpayers foot the bill for that time as well? We doubt we will ever learn the truth about this LITTLE THING.

We at www.SeminoleWatch.com initially found humor in the whole coffee "Dine & Dash" incident. But there is nothing funny in the actions of the three State employees in the manner that they decided to conduct their investigation. What mind set or belief does a person have which makes them believe that what has happened in this botched investigation is acceptable.

We at www.SeminoleWatch.com are grateful to Director Anderson for his direct and immediate intervention in this investigation and the corrective actions which he has ordered. We understand that Director Anderson’ previous employer was the Federal Government and that he has recently assumed this new position with the Division of Insurance Fraud. It is our hope that Director Anderson will be able to adjust the mind set of his workers so that they understand that it is the little things that are as important as the big things.

www.SeminoleWatch.com will identify the other Detective referenced in this article as well as the outcome of the present investigation(s) as our laws permit.

CLICK ON BELOW EXHIBITS:

  1. Florida State Statute 812.015, Retail Theft
  2. Tape recorded message left by Lt. Col. Kelley
  3. Receipt dated August 28 2012
  4. Envelope – Certified mail # 7011 0470 0001 4790 9259
  5. Bank of America Cashier’s Check # 8177459, Remitter- Anthony Kost

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
-Edmund Burke