Is Gilley a ‘professional confidential informant’? UPDATE

FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger  answered the question : ‘“Professional Confidential Informant’ is not a formal term.  The informant was Keith Morris, the Escambia County Compliance and Ethics Officer.  He is a professional with Escambia County. “


Last Friday, we published FDLE’s investigative report on a camera found in a conference room next to County Administrator Janice Gilley’s office. Yesterday, Gilley weaved for the daily newspaper a narrative about the security on the fourth floor of the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building. She talked about she had installed cypher locks and how she thinks about the security breach “every single day.”

The nice story, if it were true. Gilley didn’t monitor FDLE’s process to know it had been closed for two months when we reported it. She didn’t change any security procedures or install new locks until weeks after our report.

We first broke the news of the eavesdropping device on this blog in early December. We later found out that the investigation had started in August by FDEL and closed in late September.

During a “Coffee with Commissioner” session hosted by Commissioner Jeff Bergosh in December,  Gilley said she didn’t know FDLE had closed the investigation on Sept. 30. She told Commissioner Bergosh that she allowed FDLE to do its investigation and didn’t check back with them. She said that she was wrapped up with the recovery from Hurricane Sally.

As of Dec. 1, the only commissioner that had a new lock installed on his door was Commissioner Doug Underhill.  Bergosh complained that he had been demanding a new lock for weeks and that several times he had discovered his office doors unlocked and open.

There is one odd point about the FDLE report.  While Gilley says she is the one who called FDLE, the report says FDLE was contacted by Professional Confidential Informant. We still trying to figure that out.



4 thoughts on “Is Gilley a ‘professional confidential informant’? UPDATE

  1. Did not see CJ’s reply before my last.

    The statement read that there was no sd-card in the camera when it was found so the only running access would have been via wifi through the cloud and typically IOT devices NAT through the wifi to the cloud and any ‘sign-in’s are to the cloud and not actually direct… especially of the consumer american Vivitar branded devices.

    The most common complaint and reason this device has dreadfully low ratings is that the battery life is often 45 minutes so the device needs to be plugged in and if it was not plugged in did someone turn it on just before the Silicone Sniffing Dog enter the building?

  2. This administrations ability to come up with the worst episodes of “Between One Fern” is soul crushing in the never ending onslaught of WTF’ism.

    Hyper vigilance in all things is paramount in this time of Covid-19 and it is beyond the pale that cleanliness in the county HQ is so bad that no one notices a plastic plant that is plugged into the wall in a conference room before any only joe shmoo silicone sniffing dog takes a nightly.

    Vivitar maintains the cloud info for the account including the email from registration and the handshake of the devices including the IMEI of the devices when activated…. Vivitar is known for working happily with LEO’s.

    Was that report a brush off from those who have serious police work to get done?

  3. FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger  answered the question : ‘“Professional Confidential Informant’ is not a formal term.  The informant was Keith Morris, the Escambia County Compliance and Ethics Officer.  He is a professional with Escambia County. “

  4. You would think people like Ms. Gilley in positions that require them to make public statements would have “minders” to remind them that they cannot say X, Y or Z because they previously had said A, B or C. At some point, someone (Inweekly, PNJ) might put 2 + 2 together and see that the story adds up to “3.” I guess if you called FDLE they might tell you that the term “Professional Confidential Informant” may refer to the person who contacted them. It is though odd that the word “Professional” is used. I didn’t see this as a criminal matter, at least not yet. It seems more of a security issue. We had been led to believe that the device was found in Gilley’s office. As reported by the PNJ today, we now know that the conference room is not in her office. That suggests that even more people had access to it. One aspect now yet reported is who had access to the conference room. For starters, everyone who works in that set of offices is suspect. Others might have access to include even cleaning staff. That list should be pretty small. We know that Gilley suspected something as early as August 1. So, what type of “private” discussion was disclosed, when, by whom and what was the subject? That might give a clue as to who might want to snoop. The device in question is cheap. There was no data on the SD card and presumably it was set up to activate by motion and transmit data by WiFi. One thing not mentioned in the FDLE report is if they have a WiFi network in the county building. I assume so but maybe not. If so, wouldn’t the device have a unique ID that could be detected on the WiFi network? And wouldn’t the person who put it there be monitoring it (presumably during regular working hours) using a smartphone or iPad hooked up to the WiFi too? Would the device maker have a record of someone setting up the device to operate on a WiFi network or maybe store data in the Cloud? You almost get the sense that Gilley suspects someone working in her office complex, , may have withheld information from the commissioners because she suspects one of them and, in truth, really does not want to get to the bottom of this to include saying that she did not check with FDLE to find out the results of their investigation. You would think she had a duty to immediately alert the commissioners and everyone who works in those offices, stay on top of things and keep them all informed. I think the BCC should hire an outside security firm to do a complete investigation. If there is a security threat inside the county HQ, that person still needs to be found and held accountable.

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