Scathing letter on Code Enforcement

The Escambia County Commission and the County Attorney received this email last week from Joe Maddox:


As usual, I expect this to fall on deaf ears, but someone better step up to the plate. Please take time to read this. I am no attorney nor am I the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do know right from wrong. I spent the better part of three hours today going over records from different departments. I sure hope these people take better care of their own personal business than the County’s. I requested certain files from Code enforcement. In the files I received, there were items missing which I already have copies of, things in certain files which had no business being in these files. Files which belonged to people who have nothing to do with the files I ask for. Letters which I had no business being able to see. Private matters between the County and clients. How this got into these files is beyond me.

Some of the incriminating evidence I was looking for in these files was missing. I knew it would be because I had been told by former Code Enforcement employees that certain information would be removed from files at will. Sandra Slay even admitted to “searching this office everywhere” for a file which she said Charlie Walker checked. Amazing, since this is the main file I wanted.

However, this should be no surprise since in a Grand Jury report on Gordon Pike, “After extensive search all of the files were found. The cases involved persons who had a personal, professional or business relations with Mr Pike. The assignment of these cases to Mr Pike violated the written policy of the department”.

Charlie Walker had personal, professional and under the table dealing in his case. “Mr Pike had assigned himself the cases of his former and present attorney {whose files have never been found}; the employee of a golf course frequented by Mr Pike: an acquaintance with whom Mr Pike played golf{even while he was on probation}; and a tax collector with the Department of Revenue, who had worked on delinquent tax accounts of a business which Mr Pike was a owner and officer.”

“Testimony then revealed probationers were given preferential treatment by Mr Pike. Review of Mr Pike’s case files revealed deficiencies in – missing monthly reports, payment receipts, and other documents.”

So I guess it should be expected that files would be missing from Code Enforcement. After all, he is their leader. Monkey see, monkey do.

From HR! Who is running that place. I ask for Steve Littlejohn’s file. This guy should be officer of the Century with all the good he has done. Only one small derogatory entry. Something to do with him bringing a unauthorized firearm on County property. I guess this is OK since it belonged to one of the Special Magistrates used by Code Enforcement.

Myself and Mr Tony Waites personally went to HR to file a complaint against Mr Littlejohn. We were promised a investigation. Either we were misled or I misunderstood what I was told. I know of more than one officer from Code Enforcement who have filed complaints against Littlejohn. I have copies of their complaints. What happened to their complaints? Missing records again?

Even after Assistant County Attorney and Mr Pike met with me and promised to take a look at this, the only thing I was able to find were a few notes from Mr Ross. I saw nothing where HR had even looked at anything against Mr Littlejohn.

Sandra Slay did put a couple letters in his file telling him how wonderful he was.

In my personal file from Code Enforcement, I did manage to find the information I needed to prove I am telling the truth about what was done to me. Even the letters from Assistant County Steven West not being so truthful in some of the things he said and did. Lies to keep me from getting a fair hearing. Statements to the Special Magistrate which could have been construded to mislead the Special Magistrate.

I have contended since my first dealings with Code Enforcement, that this department should be dealt with. First you had Charlie Walker, Steve Littlejohn and Bob McLaughlin and now you have Sandra Slay, Steve Littlejohn, Gordon Pike and Bob McLaughlin. It has only gotten worst. I mean, you have a person who for no other reason than as the Grand Jury stated, “ Clearly, there was great opportunity for theft of monies.

It could not be determined, however, if any losses were the result of theft or simply the lack of business practices in the division—we could not find one set of reasonably accurate written records”, should be in jail. Seems as though things are still the same. This finding was in 1997 and this is 2009 and you still have the same fox guarding the hen house. I can only vouch for the record keeping today, and it leaves a lot to be desired.

If Bob McLaughlin has no better judgment than to have the staff he has, he needs to go. I the County is so afraid of a race issue, we should all stick our heads between our legs and jump. This is not about race, it is about how things are done and the image of the County. We are looked down on as some back woods hick county where the good old boy politics are the way of life. Well, we are not far from that.

We the people elected Commissioner who we thought would be better for the county, but we got Commissioners who are afraid to stand up to McLaughlin because he is “vindictive” or to others because they “play the race card.” The Commissioners can not carry on the business of this county without being afraid they will offend someone. How sad.

I am out and about everyday, I hear these things from people in the community. People are tired. It’s time to do something for the betterment of the County.

I would like to thank your office for all you have done,

Joe Maddox