Tallahassee, FL—THE STATE OF FEAR! THE STATE OF FEAR! THE STATE OF FEAR! Why is there so much FEAR in the State of Florida? Is it MONEY? Is it GREED? Or is it both—MONEY and GREED? (For the love of money is the root of all evil… 1 Timothy 6:10)
Before the shooting death of Eric Harris by Reserve Deputy Robert Bates out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there was a wealthy man with a badge, a patrol car and possibly a gun, working as a detective on several criminal cases in Tallahassee, Florida. The wealthy man, Donald Odham, did not have the law enforcement credentials to work as a detective. But like the world is finding out through the news media in the Tulsa, Oklahoma case of Mr. Robert Bates, money can get you favor with the sheriff—especially when the sheriff is a good friend.
In late 2011, according to an anonymous source, Donald Odham is a good friend of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell. Sheriff Campbell and Campbell’s son, Assistant State Attorney/Prosecutor Jack Campbell relied heavily on Don Odham’s court testimony to gain convictions in criminal cases that were controversial. According to documents by Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives, Mr. Odham was not honest about information that led to arrests, convictions and firings of certified sheriff’s deputies.
As it had been reported, in 2012, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell fired and brought over 13 criminal charges against 2011 Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year, Sergeant David Graham. According to a document, Sheriff Larry Campbell and his command staff learned that Sergeant Graham was the author of several anonymous letters that had been posted on the blog site, TallahasseeO.com. Graham, who was a 20 year veteran of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, was tainting Sheriff Campbell’s reputation. Sheriff Campbell was up for re-election in 2012. The letters gave readers of TallahasseeO an inside view of unethical actions and possible criminal acts by Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, Campbell’s command staff, and others. In the letters it is clear that Don Odom (Odham) was not qualified to be a law enforcement officer. Mr. Odom is said to be a “disgrace to the badge…” Also, Odom (Odham) is identified as “just a wealthy liar”. Also, the letter states that of Captain Rob Swearingen, “if you express your opinion to much, you get moved…because you are a trouble maker and none team player.” Click on the link to read: The Leon County Sheriff’s Office Campbell’s Corrupt Department
In December 2014, shortly after Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell passed away, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Captain Rob Swearingen as Interim Sheriff. Also, in December 2014, Captain Rob Swearingen’s twin brother, Rick Swearingen, who was the former Director of Capitol Police, was promoted as Commissioner for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (both offices are located in Tallahassee). Earlier this year, numerous news sources reported that former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner, Gerald Bailey, who had served as FDLE Commissioner under two previous governors, was forced out of office by Governor Scott—an action that Scott denies.
Research conducted by this source (MAUL) learned that Florida Reserve Deputies must have all law enforcement credentials…serve as volunteers…are not allowed to work as detectives. In another letter sent to TallahasseeO, the letter tells how Odom went from reserve deputy to Violent Crimes Detective above full-time certified law enforcement officers. In addition, the letter states that Odom is “a proven liar”. Also, the letter tells how campaign business was handled; training documents were altered in order for individuals to qualify for training that they would not otherwise qualify. Lastly this letter tells of the officials who were made aware of these unethical acts, including Governor Scott’s Office.Click on the link to read: The Leon County Sheriff’s Office Unethical and Immoral Breading Ground
In an additional letter, the letter tells how Internal Affairs (IA) was ordered to alter the IA to cover up for Don Odom having falsified a probable cause. In this letter, Odom is identified as the lead detective in a double homicide—further stating—“No telling what lies may be in that investigation.” Also, this letter tells of a Field Training Officer with the Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy who was arrested for DUI Involving Injuries—stating that the deputy did not cooperate in the investigation that was done by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office—yet the deputy was able to drive inmates back and forth to court. Lastly and one of the most disgusting cover ups is that of a deputy who was being investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department for sexual misconduct with a victim of a crime. Click on the link to read: The Leon County Sheriff’s Office A Haven for Discrimination and Racism The Good Ole Boy System Alive and Well
Florida tax payers elect officials who they believe will protect them—not sell them out to a wealthy friend. Law Enforcement Officers work hard to gain their certifications so that they can provide the communities that they are assigned to the best service possible. While the nation accepts that law enforcement officers are not perfect—the nation should not accept their local sheriff giving high level job positions to their rich volunteers—who want to “Play Cop” versus their hardworking full-time staff—who depend on tax payer dollars for their paychecks. Full-time certified Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies should hold loyalty “to protect and serve” to the tax payers—not to the sheriff and his command staff. Don Odom (Odham) was never an employee with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Odham had his own wealth as a businessman. Mr. Odham’s wealth could’ve been the foundation for Sheriff Campbell and his command staff to cover up Odham’s criminal and unethical acts, and propel him above other Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies/Detectives. Clearly, Mr. Odham’s loyalty was to whomever his money could influence.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and State Attorney Willie Meggs have/had held their political offices for decades. As the anonymous letters above stress—many, many years of fear! “Fear of retaliation”—why should any deputy having been certified by the state be in FEAR of their job if/when they speak out against their superiors? How can any law enforcement officer perform his/her job appropriately if he/she is in constant FEAR? Imagine the life of a law enforcement officer– trying to perform his/her duties—in FEAR of both their superiors within the agency along with all of their judicial connections—and the criminals on the streets. Imagine living in ‘FEAR’ all day every day.
In November 2014, with the assistance of the Massachusetts based organization RepresentUs, the citizens of Tallahassee spoke loudly about the future in which how their local government will operate. The city of Tallahassee became the first city in the nation to pass an Anti-Corruption Act in U.S. history.
Although Sheriff Larry Campbell has passed away, his command staff is still in their positions. In January 2015, a few weeks after Governor Scott appointed Rob Swearingen as Interim Sheriff, Governor Scott appointed Mike Wood as Leon County Sheriff. Mike Wood, who was a major with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Campbell, had a 32 year career with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Wood had retired from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office around June 2014, having had participated in the State of Florida Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), was reported near the time of his retirement, he had a nest egg of about $500,000. In addition, it was said that after six months into his retirement (as required after having participated in DROP) Sheriff Campbell had planned to bring Wood back to serve as undersheriff—in that position, Wood would get both his $120,000 annual salary and $90,000 a year in retirement payments. According to reports, Wood submitted his application to be appointed Leon County Sheriff, after Sheriff Campbell’s died of cancer on December 24, 2014.
Wood, who had a previous marijuana drug charge (possible felony), was appointed as Leon County Sheriff by Governor Rick Scott. (White privilege? Who’s going to tell the thousands of inmates that have been charged with marijuana possession that the Governor of Florida may one day appoint them to serve as county sheriff? *Black men with a misdemeanor drug charge—not gonna happen!)
Despite the citizens of Tallahassee stepping up showing that they want corruption out of their government, Governor Scott appointing Wood as their sheriff—versus a Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy who has worked hard to both serve and abide by all of the laws—with no arrests—Governor Scott continued the same systemic corrupt plague that Leon County Deputies fear—political connections who support unethical and criminal acts of their superiors.