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Ivey, Lober, Fine Press Conference. Wave “Hi!” For The Cameras Robert Burns! Part II.

Yesterday we wrote about a press conference held by Brevard County Sheriff Ivey, Representative Rndy Fine and Commissioner Randy Bryan Lober.

During the press conference it was disclosed that Robert Burns had made Facebook pages that disparaged both Fine, Lober and women in vile, indefensible posts. This came to light as Burns had made one post appear it was written by Lober himself which brought into play an “identity theft” investigation by Sheriff Ivey.

We concentrated in our post on giving the background, some comments, the revelation that the Facebook pages where by the same guy allegedly wanting “more civility” in politics, all the while working on campaigns for candidates.

What we didn’t get into was some of the things that bothered us about the press conference itself.

First, both Fine and Lober claimed Burns’ actions were anti-Semitic as both of them are Jewish.

This is not the first time Lober and especially Fine has brought out this charge and in some ways, it rings hollow in this case.

The reason we say this is in part from Fine himself. In discussing Burns and his history, Fine said:

Many of you may know that part of the campaign involved an alleged racial slur written on one of Mr. Johnson’s signs. Someone wrote the “n-word.” I think we have a pretty good guess as to who did that at this point.

The Kenny Johnson / Thomas Gaume campaign for Palm Bay City Council Seat 4 was full of vitriol and not pleasant from supporters of both candidates. We have to acknowledge that.

If Burns was behind the despicable act of spraying a despised racial epitaph on a Kenny Johnson sign, that act was an attack on Gaume and his supporters. Gaume is not Jewish and we would think that most of his supporters are not Jewish simply because of demographics in Palm Bay.

We don’t see all of the lousy despicable things Burns did as being solely aimed at members of the Jewish faith.

Burns was recently involved in a small tussle at a Bill Posey event as well. We are sure Posey is not Jewish.

Maybe Burns is anti-Semitic. That’s certainly a possibility but Burns was hypocritical in more things other than those directed at Fine and Lober. We are not sure that the evidence is convincing that being a hypocritical moron is proof of anti-Semitism.

Secondly, the whole press conference appeared more like a “Republican vs. Democrats” type thing.

We can’t place our finger on it, but there was something strange about it especially with the appearance of Sheriff Ivey, who is supposed to be apolitical.

As we listened to Ivey, we kept waiting for the big bomb – the explosion that Ivey was moving ahead and recommending charges be filed against Burns.

That never happened.

Ivey said that because his department could not put Burns “behind the keyboard” of the posts where identify theft occurred, they could not charge him.

So why the press conference?

When is the last time you remember an investigation being made on a relatively low profile case where the Sheriff came out and said “we can’t forward with charges?” When is the last time you remember such a low level case closing without charges being announced by the Sheriff in a press conference and not the BCSO’s spokesperson?

A reporter from the Florida Today caught the same thing and had this exchange with Sheriff Ivey:

REPORTER: My question pertains to this investigation being led by the Sheriff. Sheriff Ivey, the investigation from my understanding is complete or is it still open?

IVEY: It’s complete.

REPORTER: And nobody was charged at the end of that.

IVEY: That’s correct.

REPORTER: So why are you here?

IVEY: Last time I checked, I’m the Sheriff and over the agency. Since you brought it up, haven’t you guys quoted Robert Burns before in the paper? Using him to define “civility?”

REPORTER: I’m not sure of that fact……

IVEY: Well you ought to do your homework before asking me questions.

REPORTER: Why is the Sheriff, who is a non-partisan elected official is here talking about an investigation where no charges were brought…..for what is clearly a politically motivated press conference.

IVEY: So talking about an investigation that is closed, is a politically motivated press conference when I was asked to come here to talk about the investigation? Did you hear me make any political comments?

REPORTER: Well, I’m asking….

IVEY: This is exactly why I don’t talk to the Florida Today. They’re a joke. Sit down.

PEOPLE IN THE CROWD: Wow.

Wow indeed.

We didn’t realize that being asked to come to a press conference meant the Sheriff had to appear at that press conference. Furthermore his dismissal of the question and the order to “sit down,” is troubling on many levels.

As we said, we can’t remember the last time an investigation of a low level crime where no one knew the investigation was taking place and the result was no charges being filed resulted in an appearance from the Sheriff.

It makes no sense to us at all.

Lober and Fine also talked about the difference between being able to get a conviction and the preponderance of the evidence and we agree with that. Both talked about the appropriateness of allowing people to “draw their own conclusions” on issues.

So we can draw our own conclusion that Ivey was at the press conference because Lober had voted to give the Sheriff more money and Fine was proposing the same thing? It’s appropriate for people to assume that this was not some “payback?”

After all, didn’t the Sheriff have better things to do like making sure all the preparations for hurricane Dorian are complete? Can we make our own “appropriate conclusion” that the Sheriff had nothing better to do at this point in time other than to payback two elected officials who voted to get his department more taxpayer funds?

Is that the “appropriate conclusion” we can draw?

Furthermore, this “press conference” was announced last week. Couldn’t Sheriff Ivey had made a statement on the investigation before the actual press conference?

We aren’t trying to diminish what the investigation found. Don’t take that away from our comments in this post.

We aren’t trying to “kill the messenger” either, but there was something about this “press conference” that left a slightly sour taste.

Robert Burns was found out to be what many people knew him to be and now the whole world knows.

That’s a good thing. A very good thing.



11 Responses to “Ivey, Lober, Fine Press Conference. Wave “Hi!” For The Cameras Robert Burns! Part II.”

  1. Randy felty says:

    Im still waiting on the press conference tying isnardi to Republican leadership..a low level operative in democratic politics gets a 30 min press briefing..yet cricket’s on multiple felonies charged to a high level Republican…

    • AAfterwit says:

      Randy felty,

      Thank you for the comment.

      We have covered the Isnardi indictment extensively here.

      There have been press conferences and statements made by Republicans on the Isnardi issue as well.

      To claim that Burns is a “low level operative” denies his history and his aspirations.

      Finally, we don’t believe that “they did it too!” is productive. Burns was a major player in the Lober comments incident. He is the one that first stood up in the County Commission and tried to invoke the “fighting words” doctrine to say that Lober’s speech was not protected. Many on the left latched onto that even though it is completely and utterly false.

      Burns’ hypocrisy has been laid open for all to see now. Instead of doing the right thing and condemning it, far too many people are saying “others did something similar” or “there really is no proof,” allowing him to skate in their minds.

      “Someone else did something else” doesn’t help anything. It’s a distraction at best, disingenuous at worst.

      If you believe that Lober’s comments directed to Patel were wrong (and we believe we have seen statements from you saying they were,) you have to condemn Burns’ words and acts as well.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      A. Afterwit.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Question: is this really even identity theft? I read the statutes and what was referenced in order for it to be harassment it would first have to fall under the definition of an identity according to the statute. And according to the statute it doesn’t seem even feasible to believe that what they admitted was a poor photoshop job of a screen shot of a posted picture on another account would be classified as an identity under the law. I suspect this is why no charges were brought because it wasn’t identity theft in the first place. Which means the entire investigation was a sham and looks like a favor for a political friend. I’d be interested in seeing the actual response from the state attorney. They had to know from day 1 that they’d never be able to prove who wes sitting at the keyboard so that makes no sense. I suspect the Sheriff was not completely forthright here in an effort to appease his buddy.
    Also I have a Facebook page for my business. I can literally have hundreds of admins and editors on it. So creating a page doesn’t mean you posted anything on it. It seems like a lot of assumptions were made just to throw him under the bus. The whole investigation seems actually pretty wreck-less honestly. I don’t know who he is or why they hate him so much, but it certainly looked like just a pure petty attack.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Stephanie,

      Thank you for the comment.

      The post they were talking about was photoshopped to indicate it was Lober making the post. That post was made with the intent to cast Lober in a negative light and to harass him.

      That’s identity theft under the statute:

      817.568 Criminal use of personal identification information.—

      (4) Any person who willfully and without authorization possesses, uses, or attempts to use personal identification information concerning a person without first obtaining that person’s consent, and who does so for the purpose of harassing that person, commits the offense of harassment by use of personal identification information, which is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

      As for your business Facebook page, you may have “hundreds of admins and editors on it.” No one is disputing that. The post itself had the IP address – the same IP address that Burns had used to set up the account. So that puts that post in his house. However, Burns does not live alone and that is where the problem came in for the Sheriff and the State Attorney. If it was only Burns in the house, the evidence would have shown that he and only he had access to that IP. With other people in the house, things became a little more murky and they could not exclude the other adult resident from making the post.

      In short, if Burns was the only one in the house and the only one with access to the computer, the circumstantial evidence would lead one to conclude beyond a “reasonable doubt” that he had, in fact, made the post. The second person in the home means they could not exclusively put him behind the keyboard.

      Thanks for the comment.

      A. Afterwit.

  3. Stephanie says:

    No I don’t think that’s right. That statute defines what “personal identification” is under that statute. Posting a photo of a screenshot of another account I don’t think comes close. They would have to prove first that he’s posted but more importantly that he actually created what was screen shot. It was posted from an account pretending to be Lober, it was a screen shot of account pretending to be Lober. So first you have to prove that it’s actually identity theft. The. You have to prove that he created what was screen shot and not someone else, then you have to prove he actually posted it. Then they would have to prove the intent was to harass Lober as opposed to just making fun of him and as a public official is a higher bar.
    I went back and watched the video and he didn’t say the post itself came from that IP, but that the OFW was created from that IP. That’s a big difference.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Stephanie,

      Thank you for the comment.

      Once again, under the statute:

      “Personal identification information” means any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person, including any:

      1. Name, postal or electronic mail address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, official state-issued or United States-issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, Medicaid or food assistance account number, bank account number, credit or debit card number, or personal identification number or code assigned to the holder of a debit card by the issuer to permit authorized electronic use of such card;

      Are you really trying to contend that Lober’s name on the screenshot and his image don’t fit the defined terms?

      It’s identity theft under the statute if Burns made the post. What they could not prove was that it was Burns.

      But what whomever did was, in fact, identity theft.

      A. Afterwit.

      • Stephanie says:

        I think that’s debatable at best but what about your IP address statement. Did you go back and listen and see that Ivey only said the page was created from that location. Not the post. So knowing that a page can have an infinite number of editors how can you responsibly try to imply it was him based solely off of that. Just admit that it was pure pettiness and beneath a Sheriff to do. He said he only provided the facts to that reporter. He did not. He supplied innuendo and implication. From our top law enforcement officer. That is scary.

        • AAfterwit says:

          Stephanie,

          Thanks for the comment.

          We guess that you have moved off of the idea that the post was not identity theft as that is what the law defines.

          As to whether Facebook collects the IP addresses, we’ll let Facebook address that:

          Device Information
          As described below, we collect information from and about the computers, phones, connected TVs and other web-connected devices you use that integrate with our Products, and we combine this information across different devices you use. For example, we use information collected about your use of our Products on your phone to better personalize the content (including ads) or features you see when you use our Products on another device, such as your laptop or tablet, or to measure whether you took an action in response to an ad we showed you on your phone on a different device.

          Information we obtain from these devices includes:

          Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.

          Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).

          Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).

          Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.

          Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.

          Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.

          Cookie data: data from cookies stored on your device, including cookie IDs and settings. Learn more about how we use cookies in the Facebook Cookies Policy and Instagram Cookies Policy. (emphasis ours)

          It is clear they know the IP address that made the post.

          Secondly, once again from Facebook on the disclosure of the data including the IP address:

          We disclose account records solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law, including the federal Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), 18 U.S.C. Sections 2701-2712. Under U.S. law:

          A valid subpoena issued in connection with an official criminal investigation is required to compel the disclosure of basic subscriber records (defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(c)(2)), which may include: name, length of service, credit card information, email address(es), and a recent login/logout IP address(es), if available.
          A court order issued under 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(d) is required to compel the disclosure of certain records or other information pertaining to the account, not including contents of communications, which may include message headers and IP addresses, in addition to the basic subscriber records identified above.

          The BCSO issued a subpoena and Facebook complied as per the law and their policy.

          Thanks again.

          A. Afterwit.

          • Stephanie says:

            I’m not saying Facebook doesn’t have the IP address. You said Ivey said they got the IP address of the post. That’s not what he said. They got the IP address of where and when the page was created on March 1st. He clearly says that. You said something totally different.

            • AAfterwit says:

              Stephanie,

              Thank you for the comment.

              He also mentions the breadth of the subpoena.

              We are simply going to have to disagree on this. We weren’t thrilled with the seemingly partisan part of the press conference and the post upon which you are commenting says that.

              We also don’t agree with hypocrisy.

              Thanks again for the cordial conversation and please, stay safe as Dorian approaches. (That goes for your family and loved ones as well.)

              A. Afterwit.

              • Stephanie says:

                Well again, to call it hypocrisy, you have to make the same assumption and frankly STATEMENT that Fine did in saying that it indeed was Burns based off of evidence they said they couldn’t use to say it was him. That’s a lot of assumption to make to so definitely accuse someone of a crime amongst other things. Fine repeatedly said “Burns did this.” So in essence, the State of Florida said Burns was guilty of a crime in the same conference they used to say they could not say he was guilty. Seems to me that these elected officials just opened up many levels of government to be sued.

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