State Attorney’s Investigative Report on Bunnell Police Department and City Commissioner Jimmy Flynt:
Part 5 of 6
FlaglerLive | August 15, 2010
For an analysis of the report, see
“State Report Details Disturbing Patterns at Bunnell PD and Favors For Commissioner Jimmy Flynt“
April 29, 2010, at approximately 0900 hrs, BPD Officer Frank Barbagallo (phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO to provide a sworn videotaped statement. I questioned officer Barbagallo about the Payless Auto incident and the wrecker favoritism allegations. According to Officer Barbagallo Lisa Murray told him she was going to arrest the person at Payless for Defrauding an Innkeeper. He said he questioned her about her choice of that charge and felt it was a civil issue. Officer Barbagallo said Lt. Murray once told him they were using Saxon’s when John’s was on rotation and this is when the wrecker favoritism complaint surfaced. Officer Barbagallo said he did not know why John Rogers complained because they gave him eight tows after the complaint to make it good. I questioned him about any specific incidence of out of rotation wrecker preference by-John Murray (specifically the Amber Burl case). Officer Barbagallo said he knew Lt. Murray used Saxon’s out of rotation on the Amber Burl stop. He said he did not search her vehicle but Lt. Murray did. He said he remembered the marijuana and pipe that was recovered. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
April 29, 2010, at approximately 1155 hrs, BPD Officer Irene D. Hosford (phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO to provide a sworn videotaped statement. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
May 3, 2010, at approximately 1430 hrs, I previously received a call from Sgt. Gamarra advising he discovered a bag of evidence (several evidentiary items inside of the bag) in Lt. Murray’s office, apparently placed there over the weekend. He confirmed the office was previously locked and only he, Chief Jones and Mrs. Hatfield had keys. He said Chief Jones had recovered all of Lt. Murray’s BPD keys (office and vehicle) when Murray was placed on administrative leave. Sgt. Gamarra said he does not know how the bag was placed there.
Writer’s note: I also reviewed the photographs of Murray’s office when I was originally alerted to the counterfeit and missing currency. Upon reviewing the photographs I determined the bag of evidence discovered on May 3, 2010, was not originally in Murray’s office from the April 23, 2010, inventory and photographs. According to Chief Jones, Sgt. Gamarra and Mrs. Hatfield, John Murray’s office has remained locked from April 23, 2010, until May 3, 2010. Chief Jones reiterated that he removed all of John Murray’s office and vehicle keys. He said he personally secured his police SUV and it has remained locked and secured since Murray was placed on administrative leave. I questioned Chief Jones, Sgt. Gamarra and Mrs. Hatfield regarding access into the office. None of the three had any idea how or exactly when the bag of evidence was placed there. Please refer to BPD report# 10-2934 for details on the discovery of the listed bag of evidence.
Investigators Bisland, Peper and I arrived at the BPD and reviewed and inventoried all of the items of evidence located in the bag recovered from Murray’s office. We discovered additional evidence envelopes cut open from the bottom, originally containing counterfeit currency. We also discovered secure evidence envelopes returned to the BPD from the Flagler SAO. I contacted SAO Investigator Rich Brendel when it was discovered that he returned the SAO evidence to the BPD. Investigator Brendel said he returned the evidence personally to Lt. John Murray after the court proceedings were complete. The evidence was inventoried, photographed and secured by Sgt. Gamarra and Mrs. Hatfield.
Investigators Bisland, Peper and I then assisted Sgt. Gamarra and Mrs. Hatfield with the search and inventory of John Murray’s issued police SUV. We observed the search and Mrs. Hatfield and Sgt. Gamarra discovered, what appeared to be a partial cookie of crack cocaine, placed inside of a green latex evidence glove (box of similar gloves also recovered from Murray’s police SUV). An unmarked bottle of pills was also discovered in the same area. Neither item was packaged or sealed consistent with seized evidence and appeared to be hidden in the rear cage area behind the back seat of the SUV. There were other properly sealed evidence items also discovered in the rear cage area along with Murray’s issue police equipment. Both Chief Jones and Bunnell City Manager Armando Martinez witnessed the discovery of the contraband from Murray’s issued vehicle. All items were inventoried and secured by Sgt. Gamarra and Mrs. Hatfield and photographed by Investigator Peper.
May 4, 2010, at approximately 1420 hrs, Investigators Bisland, Peper and I returned to the BPD. I field tested the cocaine (tested positive) and Investigator Peper took custody of three items of evidence (the cocaine, latex glove and an envelope with two pipes inside-BPD case# 10-2934). These items were transported and secured in the Flagler SAO evidence vault.
May 5, 2010, at approximately 0910 hrs, BPD Sgt. David Barbee responded to the Flagler SAO to provide a second sworn videotaped statement. Investigator Bisland and I went over several of the questionable BPD tow forms with Sgt. Barbee and identified potential cases involving out of rotation wrecker calls by John Murray, witnessed by Sgt. Barbee. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
At approximately 1400 hrs, same date, I received a call from the mother of Derick D. McKay (BM 01-30-83, Palm Coast). She said her son is currently serving time in Live oak C.I. with a December 2010 release date.
Writer’s note: Derick McKay was stopped on January 19, 2009, by Sgt. Barbee and apprehended as he fled the scene. The vehicle was searched by John Murray and drugs were recovered (BPD case# 09-483). According to Sgt. Barbee Saxon’s Wrecker was called out of rotation by John Murray and Murray signed the BPD tow form.
May 6, 2010, during the course of this investigation, I collaborated with FCSO Integrated Technology Manager Robert Urie on the retrieval of voice dispatch tapes, e-mail correspondence and CAD information. I received another CAD printout, via e-mail from Mr. Urie, of the BPD traffic stops from January 1, 2009 until February 4, 2009.
May 7, 2010, at approximately 0900 hrs, BPD Chief Arthur Jones (phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. Chief Jones was asked if he or the Bunnell City Manager ever gave John Murray permission to deviate from the FCSO wrecker rotation. Chief Jones said that he did not and he would never authorize a deviation without a major announcement to the agency with sufficient reason. Chief Jones was questioned on the wrecker towing practice, the seizure of vehicles by his agency, the administrative fee and the complete lack of consistency, knowledge and methods his officers used when stopping and seizing vehicles. Chief Jones was provided with examples of improper towing and seizure practices. He seemed unaware that such incidents were taking place within his agency and could offer little explanation; beyond the fact his officers were aware of the proper protocol. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
At approximately 1515 hrs, same date, Investigator Bisland contacted Ms. Amber Burl regarding her towing receipts from Saxon’s Wrecker. Investigator Bisland completed a report detailing his actions:
SAO INVESTGATIVE REPORT (Bisland) #3
SYNOPSIS: On May 7, 2010, Investigator Jack Bisland met with Ms. Amber Burl and obtained two receipts regarding the seizure/impoundment of her vehicle on 10/17/09 by the Bunnell Police Department. This activity was conducted in furtherance of the investigation of Official Misconduct by members of the Bunnell Police Department and a City Commissioner.
DETAILS: Specifically, on May 7, at approximately 1515 hours Investigator Bisland traveled to the residence of Ms. Amber Burl, located at 507 ~/2 Ora St., Daytona Beach, Fl and met with Ms. Burl. Ms. Burl provided her copy of the receipt from the Bunnell Police Department # 8840 dated 10/21/09 in the amount of $350.00 from Ronald Thompson for a “Seizure Fee” re: Case # 09-7967. Mr. Ronald Thompson is Ms. Burl’s step-father who is the owner of the vehicle. Ms. Burl also provided her copy of a receipt from Saxon’s Wrecker and Automotive dated 10/17/09 to Mr. Ronald Thompson for $100.00 for tow fee and $60.00 daily storage fee (@ $20.00 per day), totaling $160.00. The receipt is signed by Ms. Burl’s Mother, Ruby Thompson, who paid the fees on her behalf. The receipts were provided to Investigator Jim Parker on May 10th, 2010 and Investigator Bisland mailed a copy of the receipts back to Ms. Burl as requested. This investigation continues.
May 10, 2010, at approximately 1140 hrs, I made contact with Michael A. Gordon (WM 03-25-1 990, Kingsland GA, phone number deleted). I explained the purpose of my investigation and questioned him about his traffic stop in Bunnell. Mr. Gordon said a BPD officer followed him and eventually stopped him for “sticking to the white line”. He said the officer told him he thought something was wrong and stopped him. He said three officers searched his car and his girlfriends, Brittney Reiter, purse. He said the officers found a small amount of marijuana in her purse and gave her a warning. He said the officers told him they also found a small amount of marijuana in his trunk. He said the only thing he ever saw was a glass tube that the officer said was positive. He said he is in the Navy and works in base security for Kings Bay Naval Station. He said he knew he did not have anything like that in his trunk. Mr. Gordon said a wrecker arrived (Saxon’s Wrecker called out of rotation by John Murray, according to testimony by BPD Sgt. Barbee) and towed his car. He said no one ever asked him anything about a wrecker or a wrecker preference. He said he and his girlfriend had to wait on the roadside for quite a long time until a friend came and picked them up. He said he and his girlfriend were never charged with anything. He said he later had to pay the BPD $350.00 and Saxon’s Wrecker almost the same amount, for total of $600.00.
Writer’s note: Michael Gordon and Brittany A. Reiter (WF 09/20/1990, Kingsland GA, phone number deleted, now the fiancé of Michael Gordon) responded to the Flagler SAO on May 11, 2010, and provided a sworn videotaped statement. According to Ms. Reiter she thought she was issued a NTA for the marijuana but discovered that the SAO had no record or received any paperwork from the BPD charging her with anything. (I verified that no 707 charging affidavit was turned in to the Flagler SAO by the BPD). Ms. Reiter said when she and Michael went to pick up their car they did not have enough money. When they were able to get the money they went back to the BPD and the wrecker company but the price had increased.
May 11, 2010, at approximately 1000 hrs, Ms. Dawn Madden Davis (WF 05-10- 1975, Palm Coast, phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. According to Ms. Davis she began dating John Murray in February 2007. She said they moved in together in April 2007 and lived at 3 Riddle Ln. Palm Coast FL 32164. She said John Murray considered them engaged and they broke-up in September 2007. She said she met Murray after he was divorced. She said she was addicted to prescription medication and that John Murray also took Xanex. She said he would confiscate drugs while he was working and bring some home for them both to use. She said he would bring the pills home in a latex glove. She said there was a big drug bust in August or September 2007 and Murray gave her 30 or so pills in a latex glove. She said he kept trying to get her back and would sometimes leave pills at her apartment in Flagler Beach. She said in October 2007 John Murray broke into “Justin’s” duplex at 12 Eton Ln. Palm Coast FL. Please refer to the videotaped for exact details.
Writer’s note: An FCSO check on calls for service did not reveal any incident associated with 12 Eton Ln. The research did reveal numerous calls to 13 Eton Ln. during the time span provided by Ms. Davis.
May 12, 2010, at approximately 1000 hrs, Mr. Shane A. Dennis, owner of Payless Auto Sales (Palm Coast, phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. Mr. Dennis described hearing Cpl. Lisa Murray, as he was on the telephone with Donald Kokenge, threaten to arrest Kokenge during the incident at Payless. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
Investigator Bisland and I stopped by Payless Auto Sales to retrieve the Saxon’s Wrecker receipt provided during the original complaint. Investigator Bisland completed a report detailing his actions:
SAO INVESTIGATIVE REPORT (Bisland) #4
SYNOPSIS: On May 12, 2010, Investigator Jack Bisland and Investigator Jim Parker traveled to Payless Auto Sales on SR 100 Bunnell, Fl and met with Mr. Ed Sweeny. Mr. Sweeny provided Investigator Bisland with a receipt from Saxons Wrecker Service dated 2/12/10. Investigator Bisland placed the receipt in evidence.
DETAILS: Specifically, Mr. Sweeny provided a Saxon’s Wrecker and Automotive invoice/receipt dated 2/12/10 that was provided by Mr. Jimmy Flynt for $165.00 cash paid for the tow and storage of a Green Volvo. This was a receipt for $165.00 cash paid by payless manager Mr. Dan Kokenge on 2/12/10. Investigator Bisland placed the original receipt into Evidence and made a copy for the case file.
May 13, 2010, at approximately 1130 hrs, Jeremiah Rodster Harris (BM 01-03-1990, Bunnell, phone number deleted) responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. According to Mr. Harris he was on foot and talking with someone in a car stopped in the roadway. He said the car drove off and later John Murray arrested him for sale of marijuana. He said Murray took $1380.00 from him before he was arrested. He said after he was released he has been unable to recover his money from the BPD.
Writer’s note: Jeremiah Harris was arrested on September 26, 2009, by John Murray (BPD case# 09-73 10). Mr. Kevin Pasley was stopped by Murray and marijuana was recovered. Mr. Pasley completed a statement form identifying Jeremiah Harris as the subject selling him marijuana prior to his stop. Mr. Pasley was released from the scene with no charges or loss of his vehicle and Jeremiah Harris was arrested. The $1380.00 was the currency from the opened evidence envelope discovered in Murray’s office, mixed ($740.00) with counterfeit currency.
May 20, 2010, at approximately 1230 hrs, Mr. David M. Chandler (WM 03-14-1989, Bunnell, phone number deleted, Beverly Beach Campground) contacted me. I explained the purpose of my investigation. Mr. Chandler said he and his girlfriend and two other friends were stopped on January 1, 2009, by BPD for their music as they were driving from McDonalds (BPD case# 09-0029). He said the BPD officers stopped him for no tag light and ran his name for about 30 minutes. He said three more BPD officers arrived and his car was searched by a K-9 and marijuana was located. He said the marijuana belonged to his friends, David Wenger and William Cunningham, and they were arrested. He said Saxon’s Wrecker (called out of rotation by John Murray who also signed the tow form) towed his car even though he was not arrested. He said he was never asked any questions about the wrecker or given a preference. He said his dad had to pay the BPD and Saxon’s Wrecker $700.00 to get his car back.
Writer’s note: on May 26, 2010, David Chandler and his father, Keith P. Chandler, responded to the Flagler SAO. David Chandler provided a sworn videotaped statement. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
For an analysis of the report, see
“State Report Details Disturbing Patterns at Bunnell PD and Favors For Commissioner Jimmy Flynt“