Staff Reports - 4/49 - SaintPetersBlog

Staff Reports

Tampa man with lengthy criminal record sues prison for $250K, says table ‘fell on him’

Jules Rashard Smith

A Tampa man with a lengthy criminal record, which includes kicking an arresting officer in the face, is now suing the prison for $250,000.

He claims a mess hall table “fell on him.”

Jules Rashard Smith is a 32-year-old Tampa resident and father with a significant criminal and prison record. In 2006, Smith was sent to prison for burglary and threatening harm; and in 2012, he was imprisoned for child abuse and domestic battery by strangulation.

In 2015, Smith was arrested for striking the mother of his child, strangling her (she survived with minor injuries), and kicking an arresting officer in the face.

Court records show Smith was initially sentenced to probation, but then went to prison in August 2016 for violating probation. Smith also failed to report an address change and violated curfew., he was found guilty April 2016 of disorderly intoxication.

Officer Kevin Riley noted that Smith: “Was just placed on a new supervision for three years and is already playing games with his probation.” At one time, Smith told police he was living with grandparents Jeff and “Thrice” Arnold In Tampa, a statement that later turned out to be false.

On Feb. 17, 2017, Smith – along with fellow inmate John Henry Frederick – were sitting in the mess hall at Graceville Work Camp, in the Panhandle’s Jackson County. According to a handwritten complaint filed Feb. 27 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court without the help of an attorney, “the Dinning [sic] Hall Table Fall [sic] on me.”

Smith asserts that both Frederick and video surveillance recording of the mess hall will serve as witnesses to his situation.

In the claim, Smith demands that his rights “be respected, and all law enforcement personnel and their agents and prosecutors and their agent avoid conversing with me concerning any type of criminal activity.”

Smith says he has suffered “great pain,” especially in his arm and lower back, and is demanding $250,000 or more for “future needs and medical treatments.” His prison record shows he is expected to be released from jail April 2.

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Woman in Hillsborough County Jail died of medical neglect, brother claims

Ericka Jazmine Roles

A Tampa woman with a history of mental and physical ailments died in 2015 while in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Her brother is now suing the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, among others, for violating her constitutional rights, claiming they failed to give her proper medical attention, which led to her death.

Ericka Jazmine Roles was a 26-year-old mother who allegedly suffered from a variety of physical and mental ailments, including diabetes, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, seizure disorder, and encephalopathy.

In 2014, Roles was arrested in Hillsborough County for trespassing and battery, and spent much of the year between jail, group homes and hospitals, where she was treated for diabetes, mental illness and other disorders.

Her last arrest, Jan. 28, 2015, was for a missed court hearing; she was allegedly in the hospital at the time.

According to a lawsuit filed by Roles’ estate Feb. 17, 2017, two days her arrival – despite a lengthy history of both medical and psychological issues diagnosed by both jail and hospital staff — Roles was denied treatment for her diabetes. Instead, she was placed in the general population, left alone and unsupervised in a cell (or a restraint chair).

Roles was found comatose Feb. 2 in her infirmary cell, a result of cardiac arrest, severe metabolic acidosis and respiratory failure.

Soon afterward, Roles was diagnosed with severe and permanent brain injury. She died Feb. 20, leaving behind a brother, Quinton Avery Roles (now 26), son Calvin Roles, mother Crystal Roles and father Robert Miller. Court documents show Ericka Roles had parental rights to her son terminate, with Quinton adopting the boy.

Quinton Roles, as the personal representative of Roles’ estate, is seeking damages for medical neglect and wrongful death. Named in the suit are Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff David Gee and several deputies, along with medical contractor Naphcare and several staff members.

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Report: Richard Corcoran urges Democratic support of Enterprise Florida bill

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is asking for Democrats support to legislation that would abolish Enterprise Florida, saying if Democrats join the House will be able to override Gov. Rick Scott’s expected veto of the bill.

POLITICO Florida reported that Corcoran asked Democrats for their help to “get a veto-proof majority” during a House Democrats dinner.

The dinner came on the eve of the bill (HB 7005) first hearing by the full House. The House is also expected to discuss a bill (HB 9) today that would tighten restrictions on Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, when it goes into session later today.

There are 41 Democrats in the House, and 79 Republicans. In the Senate, 25 of the 40 members of Republicans. POLITICO Florida writes Corcoran told House Democrats it was time for the Senate, which has stayed out of the fight, to “pony up and say ‘are you going to clean up these agencies.’”

POLITICO also reported Corcoran told Democrats he wants “to vote their conscience.”

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Nurse, Jonathan

Personnel note: Florida State hires new federal relations director

D.C. veteran Jonathan Nurse has joined Florida State University as the new director of federal relations, Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander announced Wednesday.

Nurse will serve as the university’s liaison to federal funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation as well as the state’s congressional delegation. He will be based out of Washington, D.C., and travel to Tallahassee monthly.

“We are thrilled to have Jonathan on our team here at Florida State University,” Ostrander said. “His experience in both the university world and private sector will make him a valuable asset to our team as we move to expand our national profile.”

Nurse comes to Florida State after serving as director of government relations for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which represents more than 10,000 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals.

He has also served as director of government affairs for the American Association for Dental Research and the assistant director of federal relations at University of Washington.

“I’m excited to join Florida State University and help broaden its reach,” Nurse said. “The university is on a major growth trajectory and is surging in national rankings. I hope that I can add to that success and facilitate the university’s relationships in our nation’s capital.”

Nurse has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from George Washington University. He is a native of New Jersey.

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Three boys accuse security guards of ‘terrorizing’ them near Tampa construction site

Three African-American boys are suing a Tampa security company for harassment and false arrest after being “terrorized” near a construction site.

Francisco E. and Francesco L. Bradshaw Jr. – also known as Junior Bradshaw – are 17-year-old twins from Hillsborough County. The boy’s mother is Kaytura S. Finley; their father is Francesco Levando Bradshaw, Sr.

Ruskin resident Caleb McDonald, also 17, is the twins’ first cousin.

According to a lawsuit filed March 2 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, in 2013, the Bradshaw twins and McDonald – each 13-years-old and in the seventh grade at the time – claim they were “walking peacefully” on a sidewalk in their neighborhood near a hospital construction site.

While the lawsuit does not specify an exact location, the site is likely in Riverview where Lincoln Road connects with St. Joseph’s Hospital South. The lawsuit also says that at the time of the 2013 incident, the three youths have never been arrested, nor disciplined at school.

Although the boys claim they never came closer than 30 feet to the site, two employees of AAA Security Protection – wearing “all black SWAT-type clothing” – allegedly ran up to them, yelling profanities and ordering them to lie on the ground. The three say they were handcuffed, threatened and photographed. After 30 minutes or so, the men eventually let the boys go with a warning.

They are seeking damages for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, and infliction of emotional distress.

Incorporated in 2009, AAA Security Protection, which was located at 1448 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, had been administratively dissolved in 2015. Its president was Brian Hughes, who records suggest could be the same person as 42-year-old Ruskin resident Brian Paul Hughes.

Plaintiffs say Hughes was the owner of AAA Security Protection.

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Report: Rick Scott committee releases robocall targeting Republicans who support killing Enterprise Florida

Voters across the state will be getting robo-calls blasting their representative for voting for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida.

POLITICO Florida reported that Let’s Get to Work, the political committee backing Gov. Rick Scott, has funded another round of robocalls hitting Republicans who voted for a bill (HB 7005) that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs.

“Unfortunately, your state representative … is playing politics with Florida’s jobs,” the ad says, according to POLITICO Florida. “He voted to decimate Florida’s tourism and jobs programs. And that will destroy our economy and lead to higher taxes.”

The ad, according to the report, is targeting Reps. Larry Ahern, Ben Albritton, Michael Bileca, Jason Brodeur, Travis Cumings, Jose Diaz, Manny Diaz, Blaise Ingoglia, Clay Ingram, Larry, Metz, George Moraitis, Jeanette Nunez, Jose Oliva, Elizabeth Porter, Ray Rodrigues, Chris Sprowls, and Carlos Trujillo.

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AFP-FL encourages Legislature to continue to support bill to eliminate Enterprise Florida

Americans for Prosperity-Florida applauded Gov. Rick Scott for his passion for job creation, but once again called on the Legislature to approve legislation that would eliminate economic incentive programs.

“There is no question that Governor Scott and the Florida legislature have helped Florida endure the recent recession, and through their effective leadership the state of our state is strong,” said Chris Hudson, the state director for AFP-FL, in a statement. “But make no mistake, the positive strides and gains we’ve made together are not because of top-down big-government programs. Because Florida entrepreneurs are the best investors of their dollars, they are thriving in the low tax, low regulatory environment which are among the most critical reasons millions of Americans from across the country have migrated to the Sunshine State.”

The organization has been a proponent for ending incentive programs, leading the charge during the 2016 Legislative Session to help block Scott’s proposal for $250 million for incentives. It’s also been out in full force in support of a bill (HB 7005) that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and a slew of other incentive programs. That measure could be heard by the full House later this week.

“We hope the legislature forgoes the call by Governor Scott to maintain a rigged system by keeping the quasi-state agency, Enterprise Florida in existence,” said Hudson. “Lawmakers have an opportunity to cut wasteful spending and end corporate welfare by passing HB 7005.”

In his statement, Hudson called on lawmakers to focus on “common sense free-market health care reforms to expand access for patients to receive the best care available” and encouraged support of school choice policies.

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Poll: 93% of Floridians believe travelers should be allowed to rent accommodations other than hotels

Floridians are showing their love for vacation rentals.

A new poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research showed 93 percent of Floridians believed travelers should be allowed to rent accommodations other than hotels, like vacation rentals; a sign lawmakers could face opposition if they try to restrict the rights of homeowners to offer vacation rentals.

The Jacksonville-based polling firm conducted the poll of 635 registered Florida voters by phone from Feb. 24 through Feb. 28. The survey, which was first reported by POLITICO Florida, has a margin of error of 4 percent.

The survey showed 61 percent of Floridians said state and local governments shouldn’t have the authority to ban homeowners from renting out their private homes for less than 30 days. The poll found 65 percent of Southeast Florida voters and 63 percent of Central Florida voters said local governments shouldn’t have the authority to ban homeowners from renting out private homes.

More than 80 percent of Floridians said they thought vacation rentals are an important component of the state’s tourism industry. Nearly 60 percent said vacation rentals, like beach houses, were very important to the state’s tourism industry; while 26 percent said it was somewhat important.

The survey also found 41 percent of Floridians said online platforms, like Airbnb and Homeaway, help the Florida economy.

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.

On: House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee has brought on budget analyst Bryan Mielke, formerly a legislative assistant for Sebring Republican Rep. Cary Pigman.

On: Brandon Miller is replacing Mielke as Pigman’s legislative assistant.

On: Daniel Brackett is a new attorney for the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee.

On: Angelique Rinaldi is the new legislative assistant for Port Orange Republican Sen. Dorothy Hukill.

On: Jervonte Edmonds is the new district secretary for West Palm Beach Democratic Rep. Al Jacquet.

Off: Andrew Green is no longer a district secretary for Orlando Republican Rep. Mike Miller.

On: Charles Martin is the news district secretary for St. Petersburg Democratic Rep. Wengay Newton.

Off: Nathan Klein is no longer a district secretary for Cape Coral Republican Rep. Dane Eagle.

On: Samantha Surdin is the new district secretary for Orlando Republican Rep. Eric Eisnaugle.

Off: Elizabeth Casimir is no longer a district secretary for Fort Lauderdale Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams.

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More legislative hopefuls file to run in 2018

The 2017 Session starts Tuesday, but some legislative hopefuls are already thinking about the next election cycle.

State elections records show dozens of members of the House and Senate have filed to run in 2018.

Rep. Jay Trumbull, a Panama City Republican, filed to run for re-election in House District 6 in 2018. First elected in 2014, Trumbull currently serves as as the chairman of the Select Committee on Triumph Gulf Coast and the vice chairman of the Careers & Competition Subcommittee. Democratic Reps. Patrick Henry, Kamia Latasha Brown, Wengay Newton, and  Joseph Abruzzo have also filed to run for re-election in 2018.

A bevy of political up-and-comers have also announced they’re running for office in the next election cycle.

Lilian Bravo Hutchinson, a Hawthorne Republican, will challenge Democrat Clovis Watson in House District 20 in 2018.  Watson, according to LobbyTools, has never faced a Republican opponent and hasn’t been in a contested race since 2012.

Fort Lauderdale Democrat Jonathon May is hoping to replace Rep. George Moraitis in the Florida House. May filed to run in House District 93 in 2018. Moriatis can’t run for re-election again because of term limits.

Republicans Daniel Anthony Perez and Ana Maria Rodriguez have filed to run in House District 116. Both are vying to replace Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

Andrew Vargas, a Miami Republican, is hoping to replace Rep. Jeanette Nunez, in House District 119. Nunez, the House Speaker Pro Tempore, can’t run for re-election again because of term limits.

Martin County GOP Chairman Toby Overdorf is eyeing term-limited Rep. Gayle Harrell’s House District 83 seat. Overdorf is the founder of Crossroads Environmental Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in environmental permitting.

But the past few weeks have also brought a few people dropping out of the race, before the rush of campaigning even begins.

Christopher Leon, a Republican candidate in House District 115, withdrew from his race, citing personal hardship. Republican Carmen Sotomayor is now the only candidate in the race.

And Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, an Orlando Republican, has withdrawn from his 2018 re-election bid in House District 44. The move comes after Eisnaugle express interest in an open seat on the 5th District Court of Appeal.

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