To the Editor:
On December 27, this site published a letter from me to the editor entitled Look Behind the Curtain to Understand the Arrests of Commissioners Miller and Search. https://www.villages-news.com/2021/12/27/look-behind-the-curtain-to-understand-the-arrests-of-commissioners-miller-and-search/ Since then, as I predicted, DeSantis has removed Gary and Oren from office. With the progression of the discovery process, we are slowly getting to see more of what lurks behind the curtain.
What’s Going on Here? As the facts emerge, it becomes even clearer that the arrests were another step to return control of the County Commission to the Developer and protect his sweetheart impact fee. Maintaining that sweetheart fee is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Developer and costs the residents of Sumter County (who are paying for the Developer’s county infrastructure) an equivalent amount. Here is a refresher on what happened with respect to the sweetheart-impact-fee increase/property-tax rollback: https://www.villages-news.com/2021/06/05/hage-takes-victory-lap-after-governor-signs-bill-limiting-impact-fees/
Who Initiated the Investigation by the State Attorney and Why Did They Do It? One of the numerous questions raised by the probable-cause affidavits is: Who are the three complainants responsible for initiating the Sunshine Law investigation that led to the interrogations of Oren and Gary and during which they allegedly committed perjury? (Apparently, failing to find a Sunshine Law violation, that investigation morphed into a perjury trap and the arrests of Oren and Garay on the basis of what can charitably be called “flaky” affidavits.) Those affidavits concealed the identity of the three complainants. Now, the State Attorney has been forced to identify them as part of the discovery process. Unfortunately, the complaints themselves are not available on the court’s website. The three complainants, whose identities bring us back to the Developer and his sweetheart impact fee are:
• Attorney George Angeliadis: My goodness, what a surprise! But what is interesting, is that by designating him as a Category B witness, the State Attorney prevents the defendants’ attorneys from deposing Angeliadis without the consent of the court. It would seem that Angeliadis has a lot of information about what has been going on behind the curtain. Let’s see if he can be deposed. For background, click on the following and watch the youtube video link therein: https://www.villages-news.com/2021/03/24/how-are-the-fish-biting-george/
• Phillip Montalvo: Mr. Montavalo is a Villager who is running, so far unopposed, for CDD-12 Supervisor. Last year, Mr. Montalvo wrote a letter to villages-news.com which heaps praise on our notorious State Representative Brett Hage for sponsoring the state-wide impact-fee restrictions tailored to protect the Developer’s sweetheart fee, thereby making it impossible to roll back our 25% property tax increase. Mr. Motalvo’s letter does not mention that Hage was paid $350,000.14 by the Developer or that Hage’s legislation, by handcuffing county and municipal governments throughout Florida, contradicts the Republican Party principle of independent local government. But the letter does indicate Mr. Montalvo’s feelings toward Oren and Gary. Ironically, Mr. Montalvo also wrote another letter to villages-news.com declaring that accused child-rapist Congressman Matt Gaetz should be considered innocent until proven guilty. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Montalvo writes another letter demanding that DeSantis reinstate Gary and Oren until they are proven guilty. Somehow, that seems unlikely.
• Marilyn Iskra: Mrs. Iskra is also a Villager. She is a frequent speaker at County Commission meetings and has written letters to villages-news.com. In her speeches and her letters, she praises the Developer and attacks the effort to increase the Developer’s sweetheart impact fee. However, she didn’t stop at the county level. Like Mr. Mantalvo, she wrote a letter to villages-news.com effusively praising Hage for his impact-fee-increase restrictions.
Hopefully the Truth Will Emerge and Justice Will Prevail. The American judicial system is adversarial and not inquisitorial (i.e., it is not designed to investigate and find the truth). However, the American judicial system does cause a lot of factual information to emerge, and it is starting to here. Furthermore, the American system generally results in a just outcome. For the sake of Oren and Gary, let’s hope that that the system works here. In particular, let’s also hope that depositions of all three complainants reveal the truth behind the prosecution and removal from office of two guys who ran for office to try to serve the residents of Sumter County.
Gofundme pages for Gary and Oren are located here (their legal expenses in refuting the charges and trying to regain their positions and repair their reputations are going to be huge):
BTW, if you want to verify anything that I have said, just use the Search feature on this website or go to the Marion County Circuit Court website.
Village of Winifred