The Tallahassee Ethics Officer filed an unethical and bogus injunction ordering me to stay away from city hall and public townhall meetings
Feb 1, 2019
TO: Chief Michael DeLeo
CC: Judge J. Lee Marsh
Memo: TPD Property & Evidence Receipt Case Number: 2019-016046
Leon County Case No: 2019 DR 000293
DEEP STATE vs WE THE PEOPLE
Dear Chief DeLeo,
I’m sad to hear that the Tallahassee City Commission “pushed the pause button” on opening a new station on the Southside. Our city’s crime rate per capita is one of the worst in the state and if there’s anything I can do to help the cause, I would love to help make our community feel safe again. There’s a trending hashtag on facebook #LetsCleanUpTallahassee and I appreciate any efforts for that cause.
I want to thank you for two things: your service to our community and the culture shift I have felt returning to Tallahassee. I left about 4 years ago and recently returned. I have have two police encounters this month and both times the police were very polite, understanding, and used good judgement. I understand my size and live free mannerism catches attention just by being “Benito”.
When I first met you, it was at the city commission meeting a Jan 16, 2019. I was the guy who said the serenity prayer for the commission and said I pray wisdom for them in their public service. My speech caught two types of attention: support by people saying they are glad someone spoke up and said “if the Southside needs $50m to make our community safe that we wish them to get $100m,” but I also got some negative feed back saying I am pro liberty, guns, bibles and Trump. In fact, I was chased out of the parking lot with trash thrown at my car and the City Ethics Officer even wrote to me on social media (instead of public access email) and called my public talk “hate speech”.
After I filed an ethics complaint against her with my City Ethics Board application for the two vacancies open due to illegal activity by public servants under her watch, and went to her office to ask to politely ask for her resignation so the community can heal and start trusting our leadership, she filed an unethical and bogus injunction ordering me to stay away from city hall and public townhall meetings. Some would call that is un-American to keep citizens from proper channels of free speech in voicing opinions of politicians, however she has a right to ask the courts anything she wishes and I support that.
In her bogus claim, she said she felt unsafe because I posted a video of the public talk from the commission retreat with a follow up explaining my advocacy of the second amendment while holding a prop that looks like a 357; it was a bb gun. Due to an unrelated case that has nothing to do with me, I can not have a firearm on my property until that court case is complete; I wish to remain compliant with the courts and with law officials.
My grandfather was a victim of the holocaust and was a run away slave from a nazi death camp and my father, a retired Federal Prison Chaplain, defected Poland and came to the country in 1976 as a legal political refugee in search for religious freedom. I explained in my video that my family knows first hand what can happen if the state is stronger than the community. In no way, shape, or form do I wish anyone harm. I advocate for liberty, peace, and working together in unity regardless of political parties. For her peace of mind and as a gesture of good intentions, I volunteered surrender my bb gun into your officer’s possession until her case against me is settled.
I believe this case may bring national attention to Tallahassee as several people in the community have approached me with other unethical behaviors of the Ethics Officer, so I would like to bring to your attention what was in page 3 of the Tallahassee Democrat yesterday as I feel my public safety may be at risk due to her rhetoric against me. I feel the story was well written for a main stream outlet, but I give the journalism a B- for it’s obviously slanted and bias writing style.
Tallahassee Democrat Tallahassee.com Jan 30, 2019 KarlEtters
The Ethics Board is scheduled to review a complaint filed against Julie Meadows-Keefe at its next meeting on Feb. 19 that claims she confronted Benjamin A. Horbowy online after he appeared at the city commission retreat earlier this month. As ethics officer, Meadows-Keefe fields ethics inquiries, investigates complaints and serves as the liaison between the board and the City Commission.
Tallahassee’s independent ethics officer is now the focus of an ethics complaint by a man who claims he was bullied online and tried to force her to resign this week. (My commentary: How is she independent if employed by the city she is suppose to referee? And I didn’t force anything, I asked her to resign and prayed wisdom for her to do so. The city needs to trust our local government again. The community would grow if we weren’t threatened by public servants.)
The Ethics Board is scheduled to review a complaint filed against Julie Meadows-Keefe by resident Benjamin A. Horbowy at its next meeting on Feb. 19. Horbowy says she confronted him online after he appeared at the City Commission retreat earlier this month.
She in turn sought an injunction claiming he is stalking her.
Horbowy, who goes by the name “Benito,” contends Meadows-Keefe accused him of hate speech in a private message on LinkedIn for a prayer he delivered at the meeting.
The posting “tarnishes my reputation and puts may safety in jeopardy from mob-like whacktivists,” he wrote in his complaint. At the Jan. 16 retreat, Horbowy used his three minutes of public comment time to express his support of a $50-million new police station, congratulate new Commissioner Elaine Bryant on her appointment, say a prayer in which he said where he comes from, LGBT stands for “liberty, guns, bibles and Trump.”
After the retreat, Meadows-Keefe sent Horbowy — who is looking to start a social cannabis club and other community developments — a private message on the career networking website that said, “showing up at commission retreat with hate speech, isn’t a way to grow a business in Tallahassee.” (My commentary: either be the first or the best. I am documented as opening the first private membership cannabis lounge in Florida. I wish it to be fully legal and complaint with local laws too.)
The post prompted Horbowy to file his ethics complaint, which accuses Meadows-Keefe of violating open records laws and asks for her resignation. He forwarded the complaint to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, and also is considering contacting the Florida Commission on Ethics. Since lodging the officials complaint, Horbowy has further criticized Meadows-Keefe online and in social medias posts for her lack of oversight over former Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is facing state ethics charges, and FBI-indicted former City Commissioner Scott Maddox.
The Commission on Ethics last week found probable cause that Gillum violated state ethics laws when he allegedly accepted gifts during trips to Costa Rica and New York and didn’t report them. Maddox was indicted last month by a federal grand jury on 44 counts in an alleged pay-to-play scheme. (My commentary: The problem with pay-to-play Tallahassee is if we aren’t paying, they aren’t playing… I intend to change that. #TallahasseeSwampDrainer)
Despite living in the county, he also applied for a vacancy on the city Ethics Board, including as part of his application what he called his “rap sheet.” It details his arrest record and wellness checks by law enforcement going back eight years, his two divorces, and what he says are instances of being bullied by police and college administrators. (My commentary: I am a wounded veteran, and I aired out my dirty laundry with a full disclosure with the ethics board. I was surprised they only offered 5 places for a public figure to disclose legal history. My rap sheet was 6 pages with explanations for the public to receive the full story, the truth and nothing but the truth. It’s 2019 and the years after my military service and head injury recovery, it was a struggle to heal.)
Horbowy has posted dozens of videos online in which he laments about city officials and his perceived persecution. In a Jan. 24 video, he discussed the message from Meadows-Keefe while holding a handgun and the anthem “Glory, glory hallelujah” played in the background. “I’m pro LGBT,” he said during the video. “Just because I stand for liberty, guns, bibles and Trump does not mean I’m hateful.”
On Monday, Horbowy showed up at City Hall to speak with Meadows-Keefe and demand her resignation. She was not there at the time, city officials said. The next day, she requested a protection order to keep him from stalking her. Leon Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh denied her request, but set a hearing in two weeks.
Meadows-Keefe did not specifically address the court action or the ethics complaint but told the Tallahassee Democrat she decided to seek the protection order after seeing Horbowy’s video with the firearm. “I am taking appropriate steps to protect myself, my coworkers and the safety of my family,” she said. “I recognize a certain level of public scrutiny comes with the job, but once there are weapons, I don’t think that’s reasonable.” (My commentary: once someone under her watch has 44 counts of mafioso charges in court, I don’t think it’s reasonable for her to keep her job. Besides, it was a BB gun and as a veteran, I would never point a gun at anyone other than in self-defense)
Horbowy created a Facebook event “Deep State vs. Liberty Patriot Hearing,” encouraging people to come to the Leon County Courthouse for the hearing with Meadows-Keefe.
Horbowy said his intent was be polite and ask Meadows-Keefe to step down, but she “twisted” his words when filing for her injunction.
Horbowy in a response on his Facebook page said the idea of filing the petition for an injunction against stalking, which he viewed as an attempt to stifle public access to City Hall and public meetings was “repulsive and un-American.
“In no way, shape, or form do I wish her harm,” he wrote. “In fact, I have been praying for wisdom for her … to resign. I am a public person who advocates for the community and less heard.”
I understand your attention is pulled 100 directions at any given moment in your position, but I do appreciate you taking the time to read my letter and the article from the newspaper.
On a quick note while I have your attention, I would like to discuss with you face to face or with who whoever is on the local committee for the cannabis culture shift that is happening in Florida. As the founder of the Cannabis Social Club Florida, I wish to be in full disclosure with your department and the city as we remain in full compliance with national, state, and local laws. If there is no such committee yet, I would like to volunteer to be on it or even spearhead the initiative. Our agriculture commissioner is hiring a Florida Director of Cannabis, perhaps we should visit the idea of a Tallahassee Director of Cannabis. I advocated for both Gov. DeSantis and AC Fried to win their seats and we were successful. I’m not on the red team or the blue team, I’m on the green team and wish to grow a fresh and Smart Florida as I work with the community on both sides of the aisle I feel if the TPD would be proactive with the cannabis culture shift welcoming medical marijuana in designated areas so veterans like myself can medicate in social support, we can change the hearts of those who are harsh feelings of the police. For example, I know someone who who is terminally ill with cancer and is locked up for smoking a joint in public. I’m here to help and I love everybody.
Kindly and Respectfully,
“Benito” Benjamin Alexander Horbowy
CEO@SMARTGREENINDUSTRIES.COM I make things happen; that's my brand.