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The Villages
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Look behind the curtain to understand the arrests of Commissioners Miller and Search

To the Editor:

The Developer’s Measures Against Estep, Miller. and Search During the 2020 Election Campaign.  It is disturbing how many residents, apparently relying on the biased reporting in the Developer’s newspaper, assume that Sumter County Commissioners Miller and Search are guilty of perjury just because they were arrested.  Residents need to look behind the curtain at the facts underlying those arrests.  Go to villages-news.com and do some searches to read about the massive spending and dirty tricks (including the use of fake candidates to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters) employed in a futile attempt to keep Estep, Miller, and Search (who threatened the Developer’s control of the County Commission) from being elected.  See, e.g., https://www.villages-news.com/2020/08/29/villages-developer-and-his-fake-candidates-should-hang-their-heads-in-shame/   

The Developer’s Post-Election Measures Against Commissioners Estep, Miller, and Search.  Then look at the measures that the Developer took to prevent Estep, Miller, and Search, after they were elected in a landslide, from carrying out their campaign promise to increase the Developer’s sweetheart impact fee and roll back our massive tax hike– which tax hike was enacted to subsidize that sweetheart fee.  The post-election measures included an unrelenting propaganda campaign attacking Estep, Miller, and Search in the Daily Sun and paying Representative Hage $350,000.14– with Hage sponsoring state legislation to prevent the Developer’s sweetheart impact fee from being increased.  Then, a deep-pocketed, mysterious client financed the notorious Angeliadis fishing expedition aimed at entrapping or intimidating the three Commissioners and their supporters—including the President of the POA, the head of Fair Government for Sumter, and myself.  ( https://www.villages-news.com/2021/03/24/how-are-the-fish-biting-george/ )  Could that mysterious client possibly have been the Developer, either directly or through one of his minions??  BTW:  The Developer was a major financial contributor to Angeliadis’s unsuccessful attempt to cling to his Governor-appointed Citrus County judgeship in the 2020 election.

The Intensification of the Campaign Against Miller and Search. With their arrests, it appears that the anti-Miller-and-Search campaign has been taken to a new low and is now aimed at having them removed from office by the Governor and replaced with Developer-friendly substitutes–maybe one of the fake candidates referred to above?  After thinking about all this, read, with a critical eye, the probable-cause affidavits used as the basis for the arrest warrants issued for Miller and Search.  The affidavits can be found at https://www.civitekflorida.com/ocrs/county/42/

The Probable-Cause Affidavits.  The affidavits raise more questions than they answer, especially when one considers that it is perfectly legal for Commissioners to call one another– as long as they are not discussing matters before the Commission.  So Miller and Search had no reason to lie about the existence or dates of phone calls and had to know that any such lie would be easily discoverable through phone records.  Remember, to constitute perjury the relevant statements have to be KNOWINGLY false about a MATERIAL matter.  The perjury allegations revolve around the seemingly immaterial and hard-to-recall dates of phone calls made months earlier (the affidavits obscure the actual dates) and the question of which phone was used.  It is especially interesting that the affidavits state that the underlying investigation was based on three anonymous complaints– one of them made by an unnamed attorney for an anonymous client.  Could that attorney be Angeliadis of fishing-expedition fame?  Who made the other two complaints and why?  Most importantly, do the affidavits, when read carefully, really establish probable cause that Miller and Search committed perjury?

The Arrests.  Indictments are so easily obtainable that a New York judge famously observed that a prosecutor “can indict a ham sandwich”.  It appears that, in Marion County, Florida, a prosecutor can also obtain an arrest warrant for the ham sandwich, even without an indictment.  There is certainly no reason to assume that Messrs. Miller and Search committed perjury just because they were arrested.  From everything that I have seen, it appears that the evidence will ultimately show that they did not.

Scott Fenstermaker
Village of Winifred

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