Jeff Boone, acting as attorney for Councilman John Simmonds, drags Venice Florida! dot com's Patten into court to reveal source of public records emails that Simmonds has admitted to criminally destroying; Boone accuses this web site of hacking to obtain emails.
Patten hacking or the Boone law firm cracking?
As a result of posting this story (a printed copy was included as "Exhibit A" in Simmonds' pleading), Councilman John Simmonds and his attorney, Jeff Boone, have accused me of hacking or otherwise illegally obtaining public record emails from Simmonds' computer. I am subpoenaed by Boone to court to cough up my source for the emails. The subpoena includes the bogus accusation of hacking and states that I am illegally in possession of private emails.
Good luck with that, Jeffy!
The subpoena, now a part of attorney Andrea Mogensen's Sunshine law/public records lawsuit against the city, was served on me this past Tuesday as I was taking my seat to watch the city council meeting.
Simmonds is insisting that the emails that were published on this web site are private correspondence. I claim that they are public records that Simmonds has, under oath, admitted to destroying, apparently in an attempt to prevent their release to the public.
As to our difference of opinion on this matter, I can only reply to Simmonds as follows: You say toe-mah-toe, I say you're out of your frickin' mind.
As to how I received these emails, I will only state that I received them in a perfectly lawful manner and that neither I nor anyone else broke any laws or committed any act of hacking to obtain them. I will not name the source
While I am (or should be) protected by law from having to reveal the source, Judge Robert Bennett may not see it that way. Judges can get a bit testy when you tell them no. It's generally not a good idea to do that, and I don't recommend this behavior to anyone else. Nevertheless, I am prepared to go to jail if necessary rather than be forced to name my source. I do not believe that I ethically have any other choice if it comes down to this.
Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. So far, that hasn't been the case.
Jeff Boone's father, E.G. "Dan" Boone is the attorney of record for the biggest leaseholders at the Venice airport and most of the other smaller leaseholders, including the VGA golf course and the Venice Jet Center. It's a sweet, almost monopolized deal, a major money-maker for the Boones.
On June 11, Simmonds admitted under oath in Judge Bennett's courtroom that he had illegally deleted and attempted to destroy his public records emails. Judge Bennett immediately ordered a forensic examination of Simmonds' computer, this in an attempt to retrieve public records emails. The Boones now want their own expert to comb Simmonds' computer (wipe, wipe) before the court can get a chance at grabbing the data.