Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Denise Amber Lee/Top Ten Reasons I believe there was a cover up

I've said them before and I'll keep saying them. Why? Because I hope someone will take an interest and expose the problems in the CCSO. Sorry for the clutter but sometimes we have to do what we have to do. Those of you who have been following this story understand the repetition. I apologize to others but I feel compelled to get the truth out.

Top ten reasons there was a cover-up:

1 They didn't notify the North Port Police Department immediately after they mishandled Ms Kowalski's phone call. Why not? Even though, they KNEW she was the last person to see Denise alive and would've been the prosecution's best witness. They insinuate they didn't know the call referred to Denise, but according to the I/A report, they knew that night. They never followed up with Jane Kowalski on her phone call. Why not? She is heard clearly requesting them to follow up with her on her concerns when you listen to the call.

2 They only reprimand the dispatchers. IMO the dispatchers are scapegoats. Yes, they screwed up royally but the call taker, Millie Stepp, screwed up more. So, did the supervisor Laurie Piatt who testified she "didn't know what was going on" because she "was too busy patching radios." Also, their Teletype machine wasn't monitored and they could lose it, if it's found they did not use it appropriately.

3 They had Capt Donna Roguska lead the Internal Affairs investigation. She was Director of Communications that night and in charge. Capt Roguska had just been promoted to Internal Affairs but was filling in for Sherman Robinson who was on vacation and supervised the 9-1-1 center that night. What does that smack of?

4 They didn't interview Bill Cameron who was the Chief of Communications. He was the top TOP dog that night calling all the shots. Why wasn't he interviewed? Is it because it was an election year and he was running for sheriff?

5 They refused to answer any questions after the Internal Affairs Investigation Report came out. Why not? The I/A report only raises more questions and answered very few.

6 Their treatment of Ms Kowalski in blaming her for giving them "erroneous" information about the color of the car and the age of the victim. That's truly appalling. Here a citizen does the right thing, but because it was going to expose major mistakes in the 9-1-1 center they chose to not even call her back. And they blame her!

7 They laid blame on Nextel being the problem and went to great lengths to explain how they were going to go about discontinuing the use of Nextel when the only person who had a Nextel phone in the 9-1-1 center that night was Laurie Piatt, the supervisor patching radios. At least according to those who were interviewed. Who knows what Roguska and Cameron were using? They conveniently weren't interviewed.

8 The list of questions that went unasked in the investigation. For example "who was the 'he' in authority that Millie Stepp was asking direction from while on the phone with Ms Kowalski?" and "who was hollering at Millie when she was on the phone with Ms Kowalski?" These were clearly people in authority. Those people were never interviewed and it was never asked who they are. Also "why didn't Millie (the call taker) confirm with the dispatchers that they received her information and that it was sent out?" And "why weren't the 3 BOLOs sent across on the Teletype from North Port responded to?" And "why were the CCSO deputies in the field not looking for a green Camaro until after 6:45PM when the CCSO first received information over the Teletype about a green Camaro as early as 4:59PM?" And "during the shift change what information did the on duty supervisor give to the on-coming supervisor?" And "why wasn't the on coming squad of call takers and dispatchers made aware of the green Camaro and the 3 BOLOs?" The pass on log which they all initialed when they came in at 6:45PM doesn't mention anything about the green Camaro or the white pudgy guy. Why not? "Why were the CCSO deputies in the field so frustrated about not having any leads when there were clearly leads coming over the Teletype?" How could the supervisor, Laurie Piatt get away with a response of "I didn't know what was going on, I was patching radios, I mean, I knew Millie had a call but I really didn't know anything about it". She was the supervisor for goodness sakes. Where's the follow up of "why not? And why didn't you make it your business to find out why one of your call takers was standing up screaming across the room and find out why people were hollering at her?" I could go on but I'll stop for a while. Most likely I'll blog about it in a few days. If I do I'll warn you ahead of time that it's a rant on cover-up.

9 They won't open themselves up to an external investigation which you'd think they would. I mean, if there are no issues as they say and their dispatchers are excellent, you'd think an external investigation would exonerate them. They continue to hide behind Nathan's lawsuit when no lawsuit has been filed!

10 Biggest reason! the North Port Police Department had to "request" information on Ms Kowalski's call on Saturday, the same day we found Denise's body, when most 9-1-1 centers would've contacted them the night of the call (Thursday). The CCSO clearly knew according to their own I/A report the call referred to Denise as early as Thursday evening. Why? Why did the NPPD have to "request" information? Ms Kowalski was the last person to see Denise alive. She was a critical witness and we would NEVER have known about her or her call if she hadn't persistantly called the NPPD. The CCSO's treatment of her is an indictment itself.

I'd add 11 but it is all only hearsay and I have no proof. But it seems there's been other cover-ups involving the same cast of characters. You'd hope Denise's case was isolated but it's not.

Jane was an eyewitness to Denise's kidnapping. She called 9-1-1 and reached the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 center. She kept them on the line 9 minutes. Denise's kidnapping took place in Sarasota County and Sarasota County with the North Port Police Department had jurisdiction over the case. They all neighbor each other. Jane called 9-1-1 and reached the CCSO. She thought she was talking to the North Port 9-1-1 center. There's no way to tell who you are reaching when calling the 9-1-1 center because they answer the call "9-1-1, where is your emergency?" Anyhow, Jane wasn't aware of what she was witnessing and only realized it the next morning when she watched the news and saw Denise's story. She then immediately called the NPPD and told them she was the eyewitness they talked to the night before and she wanted to help. THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHO SHE WAS. Was that their fault (the NPPD's)? NO! The CCSO (namely Bill Cameron, now Sheriff, then Communications Chief) NEVER TOLD THE NORTH PORT DETECTIVES HANDLING DENISE'S CASE ABOUT THE CALL. WE WERE STILL LOOKING FOR HER!!!!!! Why? Because the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office grossly mishandled not only the call and didn't dispatch a car but neglected their Teletype and ignored crucial BOLO's (Be On the Look Outs) containing information on the suspect and his car. They certainly and for sure didn't want anyone to know.