Sheriff Donald F Eslinger
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KING LARRY DALE

And His INHERENT POWER to

GIVE AWAY MORE TAXPAYERS PROPERTY

SeminoleWatch.com received a tip concerning the unexpected resignation of Bryant Garrett from his positions with the Sanford Airport Authority (SAA). In an attempt to verify this information it became very obvious that this news was so recent that not even the higher ups within government at the City of Sanford had any idea that this had occurred.

For the most of us the name Bryant Garrett does not ring any bells. But in all actuality he is or rather was a very important ” employee “ and Officer of the SAA and held at least two positions. Mr. Garrett until his unexplained and immediate verbal resignation on Friday March 14, 2014 was the Chief of the Sanford Airport Police Department as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the SAA.

SeminoleWatch.com will not even begin to attempt to explain the back woods command structure of the Sanford Airport. On one hand, Police Chief Bryant Garrett was the immediate supervisor over Police Commander Larry Dale. On the other hand, Mr. Garrett in his capacity as the CFO, works under President Dale, who is Mr. Garrets’ immediate supervisor. Maybe our prior military members could explain to us just how this Chain of Command works? Needless to say the Sanford Airport Authority operates in its own world with its own special rules.

It is the manner in which the SAA operates which is the focus of this article. It is commonly joked about that the Sanford Airport should be renamed to reflect the manner in which a select few public servants operate this multi million dollar tax payer owned asset. We at SeminoleWatch.com submit that it should be renamed “LARRY’S WORLD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT”. The name seems fitting but we are open to suggestions.

Now that some background has been provided, let us look into the verbal resignation of Mr. Garrett. Sometime during Friday, March 14, 2014, Mr. Garrett advised someone that effective immediately he was resigning from all of his positions within the SAA. At some point in time this verbal resignation was tendered to Mr. Dale. Now exactly what happened over the weekend is yet to be revealed. But the one fact which has been verified is that Mr. Dale decided that he had the authority to give Mr. Garrett a very lucrative going away present without any authorization from the SAA Board.

To quote Ms. Diane Crews who holds the positions of Vice-President of Administration and due to Mr. Garrett’s resignation , Vice-President of Finance: (1)

“The Separation Agreement for Bryant Garrett was not authorized by the SAA Board, nor was it required to be authorized by the Board.”

What Separation Agreement you might ask? Yes that is right, President or shall we say King Dale decided over the weekend to put together a very costly going away present for Mr. Garrett. Before we go into the details of this gift, we believe that some background into the construction of the Sanford Airport as it relates to the taxpayers of Sanford are concerned, is needed.

The residents of the City of Sanford, who are registered voters, elect the City of Sanford City Commissioners. The Sanford City Commissioners then appoint members to the Sanford Airport Authority Board (SAA). The SAA Board then hires certain individuals in positions . These positions are Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Police and Vice-President of Administration and Vice-President of Finance and a few others. Now the SAA is a dependent special district and as such the City Commissioners have limited control. The City Commissioners approve the budget for the SAA and have the authority to hire/appoint SAA Board members and to fire them. (2) But for the most part the City Commissioners have no other checks and balances over the SAA or the SAA Board.

Now the SAA Board members are the bosses over certain above identified positions within the SAA. The Board does not involve itself in the day to day operations of the SAA but entrusts certain individuals to operate their duties in a professional manner realizing that they have been appointed as stewards over the tax payers property. Let us not forget that the property belongs to the tax payers for the City of Sanford Florida and not to Mr. Larry Dale nor Ms. Diane Crews.

Now back to the gift from Mr. Dale to Mr. Garrett. On Monday , March 17, 2014 , Mr. Dale presented to Mr. Garrett his royal decree. For the sake of legality we will call it,

"SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE"(3)

We have posted a copy of this “Agreement” for your reading enjoyment, but before you read the gift list, just for a moment think about what has happened. Put yourself in the place of Mr. Dale. One of your underlings tells you on Friday that effective immediately he is quitting. He is leaving you without any notice or time to train a replacement for all of the duties that this servant has. Not only does this ungrateful peon just up and quit but he does not even give you the respect of writing a Bull S_ _ _ letter of resignation. So does Mr. Dale show this employee the door? Does Mr. Dale get mad ? To be honest maybe Mr. Dale did get angry but you will never find an employee at the SAA who has the guts to tell what he or she heard out of the mouth of the King.

So how does Mr. Dale respond? Does Mr. Dale request a meeting of the SAA Board to discuss the resignation? Well if the SAA Board did discuss the issue it was not done in the Sunshine. And seeing as how a couple of SAA Board members are lawyers, we at SeminoleWatch.com are sure that no unlawful conversations or communications took place directly or indirectly between two or more SAA Board Members.

Mr. Dale then has someone put his Royal Decree into the form of the Agreement. Now even though the actions of Mr. Dale appear as unusual we attempted to locate by what authority Mr. Dale was operating under which gave him the power to give these gifts. On April 7, 2014 a public records request was submitted to the Custodian of Records for the SAA, Ms. Diane Crews, requesting a copy of the public record authorizing the President/CEO to enter into or negotiate a separation agreement with an employee. In response to this request Ms. Crews advised the following. (4)

“ There is no public record authorizing the President/CEO to enter into or negotiate a separation agreement with an employee, as such authorization is inherent in his position.”

So here we have it, the power is “inherent”. We suggest that our readers look up the definition of the word inherent. ie “inherent power”:

“An authority possessed without its being derived from another. It is a right, ability or facility of doing a thing, without receiving that right, ability or facility from another.” ( Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856)

Believe it or not Mr. Dale was not born into his royal title as King but was employed by the SAA as an employee and entered into an “Employment Agreement” which spelled out his duties, job description functions and specifies his compensation package. (5)

In reviewing the Employment Agreement dated October 5, 2009, for the annual starting pay of $229,818.00, Mr. Dale was given certain control over property of the SAA. Mr. Dale makes a lot more each year than this starting salary, but then it is good to be King. In reviewing the Agreement on page 7 SECTION 9. D, it was revealed:

“D. The employee shall have the authority to sign bank drafts or checks in an amount less than $10,000.00 without the co-signature of an authorized member of the Authority Board of Directors, or SAA Senior Staff.”

Nowhere within the Agreement could we locate any authority for Mr. Dale to provide Mr. Garrett with his gifts but then just maybe it is lost in the fine print. It would appear that the intent of the SAA Board was to provide a check and balance on Mr. Dale in regards to his access to the property owned by the tax payers of the City of Sanford . Common sense would dictate that if there were to be no check and balance over the finances then no such $10,000.00 limit would be demanded in the Agreement. However, the SAA was concerned and did provide a limit to the power of spending the SAA money (ie Tax Payers Money) at the hands of Mr. Dale. And yet the last time we checked, $60,255.00 is more than $9,999.99. It might be interesting to obtain a copy of all drafts signed by Mr. Dale for $9,999.99 or less. Oh well, that is a story for another day. Let us get back to this story.

For those of you who do not have the time to read the attached Separation Agreement between Mr. Dale and Mr. Garrett, we have provided this partial list, as identified in the Separation Agreement which was signed by Mr. Dale under the titles of “President & CEO”. Examination of the Separation Agreement revealed that it was notarized by Ms. Diane Crews under the title of “Notary Public.” No where in the Agreement dated March 17, 2014, was a second signature located from” any authorized member of the Authority Board of Directors, or SAA Senior Staff.”

GIFTS FROM Mr. LARRY DALE:

  1. $60,255.00 less payroll withholdings and deductions
  2. 1/8 of accrued but unused vacation ( up to 500 hours) and sick leave
  3. Medical and Dental insurance for six months.
  4. An Authority-owned vehicle and related insurance for no more than two (2) weeks from the date of this Agreement, unless otherwise extended by the Authority.
  5. I Phone 5 and equipment estimated cost $599.98
  6. HP Envy 17 3rd Edition lap top computer estimated cost $3,757.82

But there is more to this Separation Agreement than the above identified Gifts. At the very end of the Agreement on page 5 listed as paragraph 25, it advises:

“This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.”

We at SeminoleWatch.com are not lawyers but these few words sound as if Mr. Dale can add to the gift list by “executing a counterpart” whenever Mr. Dale so deems fit. But then again this is only our uneducated understanding of this Agreement. We at SeminoleWatch.com would welcome an educated opinion from a licensed attorney, either in support of our opinion or opposed to it.

We at SeminoleWatch.com believe that something just does not smell right about this whole incident. It is only our opinion, and we all know what they say about opinions, but there is the perception that something is going on. What we do know is that if this goes unchecked what would stop Mr. Dale from giving another employee a $70,000.00 gift or a $100,000.00 gift. Or for that matter anything that Mr. Dale decides to give away since it is Mr. Dale’s position that to do so is an “inherent” power.

Now if Mr. Dale wants to reach into his personal Bank accounts and give someone $60,255.00 that would be a very generous gift. But we submit that a person cannot give away that which is not his to give.

If the taxpayers of Sanford Florida want a King to rule at the Sanford Airport, then so be it. But if the Taxpayers want their employees to be a good stewards over THEIR property then their voices must be heard.

We at SeminoleWatch.com believe in the rule of law and as such the Citizens of Sanford Florida have the legal right and duty as a Citizen to demand of your elected officials to investigate incidents such as those as described in this article. We suggest that your City Commissioners be contacted and that a review be conducted to determine if the actions of Mr. Dale and Ms. Crews were authorized by law.(6)

If it is a King that you want then let us stop pretending and give him a crown for his head and change his official Title.

We at SeminoleWatch.com do not serve kings and as long as this is the United States of America we know that we have a Constitutional Republic form of Government. We do not have Titles of Nobility in the City of Sanford, Seminole County Florida or the United States of America.

CLICK ON BELOW DOCUMENTS:

  1. Reply from Diane Crews dated April 7, 2014
  2. Attorney General Opinion 2012-12 dated April 25, 2012
  3. SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE dated March 17, 2014
  4. Reply to Public Records Request From Diane Crews dated April 8, 2014
  5. THIRD AMENDED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT dated October 5, 2009
  6. Email letter to Sanford City Commissioner Patty Mahany dated April 7, 2014
  7. WFTV Channel 9 report

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