Judge Collier not surprised about Davison

When he heard that Scott Davison may have misrepresented someone as part of his development team in order to qualify to be the master developer of the Community Maritime Park, Judge Lacey Collier was blunt, “I’m not surprised.”

From 2006 to Feb. 26, 2010, Judge Collier chaired the CMPA Board of Trustees. The retired Lt. Commander and naval aviator was named in 2006 to the board by the Maritime Museum foundation to replace his friends, the late U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Jack Fetterman and Mayor Emeritus Vince Whibbs.

I interviewed Michael Buckley of Halcyon LTD, who Davison listed as a key team member to qualify for the bid and whose projects were critical to meeting the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) criteria. Buckley said he never was a part of any Land Capital team for the maritime park. Davison did not have permission to use his name or bio in the RFQ proposal. (Read Hoodwinked?)

Judge Collier said the Buckley was important to the Land Capital proposal and he isn’t sure that Davison would have qualified without Buckley. “As far as I know, the biggest thing Davison had developed in Pensacola was the Popeye’s on Cervantes,” Collier said.

Collier reminded me in our phone conversation about Davison that the judge had refused to go along with a motion to make the vote for Land Capital unanimous once the company had received an 8-4 vote to be the master developer back in August 2008. “I proud to say that vote was 11-1,” Collier said. “I thought we made a big mistake that day.”

He believes that Davison’s promises on the Covenant with the Community and the Contractor’s Academy won over the minority board members. “In my opinion, that is what swung the vote for him and he hasn’t lived up to those promises,” Collier said.

Collier thinks Davison’s last-minute commitment to put $250,000 of Land Capital’s money to fund the Contractor’s Academy was critical in him winning the bid. “(Davison) even tried to back out of that the week after the vote and said it would be ‘in-kind,’” Collier remembered. “When the minority community got upset about that, he said the money would be there when we need it.”

Another fact that helped sway the vote for Davison, Collier believes, was the number of local companies on the Land Capital team. “It was impressive when Fred Donovan (Baskerville-Donovan is the project engineer) and others stood up when Scott asked who was part of his group,” Collier said.

Collier is still upset that Donovan and other local members of the Land Capital/MPDP team haven’t held Davison more accountable.

“I told Brian Spencer and Fred Donovan that I was holding them personally responsible,” Collier said. “They assured me that they would ride herd on him, keep everything on the up and up and blow the whistle if he ever got out of line.”

The judge told me, “I’m disappointed in both of them. Don’t get me wrong. They earned every penny they’ve gotten out of the project and they have done professional work on the project.

“…but they didn’t exactly ever blow the whistle.”

Judge Collier said that the despite Davison’s antics, the project is in good shape.

“We really haven’t missed a lick and I believe we will be better off without (Davison),” Collier added before he hung up the phone.