HAPPYTOWN 


Say you're the Orlando Police Department, and the Citizens Police Review Board that oversees your internal affairs investigations asks you to reopen a case because you half-assed it the first time. What do you do?

Not a goddamn thing. In December, the CPRB asked OPD to re-examine allegations against James Carlies and James McGriff, two undercover agents accused of misbehaving during the course of an investigation into Cleo's adult nightclub in 2004 (see "Operation Overexposed," Sept. 22, 2005). Two strippers ultimately arrested in the sting, Celeste Hall and Olivia Foster, filed a complaint. As proof, they offered the results of lie detector tests they'd passed.

But OPD said those tests were administered incorrectly and discarded the results. So the women made themselves available for another lie detector test conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE agreed to perform the test, but only if OPD asked for it. OPD never did. The complaints against the two cops were dismissed (see "Something's fishy," Nov. 9, 2006). Even after the CPRB kicked the case back to the department, nothing happened.

On July 19, Cleo's attorney Steve Mason wrote OPD a letter asking, basically, if the cops ever planned on reinvestigating. The answer came on Aug. 2 via a letter from assistant city attorney Shannon Gridley Hetz: No.

"The Citizens Police Review Board is only advisory to the chief of police," Hetz wrote. In other words, it's a toothless body that the police can ignore whenever they want. How's that for accountability?

Does City Hall have a sign on the door that reads, "Rubes inside. Come and fleece us, please?" Sometimes we think so. Like when the city hopped in bed with Lou Pearlman. Or when they bent over for Rich DeVos. Or when they paid $893,000 for a bunch of dorks to ride around on Segways downtown.

Basically, anything the city does to reinvigorate itself is either handled so god-awfully as to strain credulity, or it just collapses before our very eyes.

Is that what's happening to Buddy Dyer BFF and downtown savior emeritus Cameron Kuhn? It's been a rough couple of months for the Kuhnster. First, in December, he was sued for allegedly discriminating against Hispanic employees (see "A racial development," April 19).

Then, contractors working on the Premiere Trade Plaza filed construction liens after Kuhn allegedly stiffed them. He still hasn't paid the $5.4 million he's owed them since May, so the contractors recently filed to foreclose.

(For the record, Kuhn has said that the contractors overbilled and underperformed, and he sued them for the alleged shoddy work. Also, Kuhn's lawyer recently told 580 WDBO-AM that his client isn't broke, and that these stories about his financial insecurity aren't true.)

Now Kuhn's gotten into a skirmish with one of his key investors, Frank Vennes Jr. He filed two lawsuits against Vennes, claiming the investor smeared Kuhn's good name and didn't live up to his fiduciary obligations. According to Kuhn, Vennes threatened to badmouth him to the press if Kuhn didn't sign over all of his properties in Orlando and Jacksonville.

Vennes retaliated with his own lawsuit. He says that Kuhn defaulted on a $2 million promissory note and failed to pay $11 million he owed. We could give a shit, so long as Kuhn gets that long-delayed movie theater up and running in time for us to catch Daddy Day Camp.

But here's the funny part: Kuhn says that Vennes — a big-shot GOP fund-raiser, naturally — is a fundamentalist Christian who tried to convert him and didn't like the fact that Kuhn associated with God-hating Democrats like Buddy Dyer!

So for whom are we supposed to pull, the (allegedly) sleazy racist developer or the (allegedly) sleazy fundie investor? Tough call.

Speaking of mildly amusing Christians, Reveille Ministries Inc., a nonprofit organization out of Lake Mary, wants you to know that if you or someone you know has had an abortion, you're probably leading "hurting, defeated lives."

Relying on statistics that are probably wrong — for instance, Reveille claims 43 percent of women age 45 and under have had abortions; the National Abortion Federation says that number is considerably exaggerated — Reveille has determined that many of you aborters out there are suffering and need their help. Suffering from what? Post-Abortion Syndrome, which they say is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (though it isn't recognized by the American Psychiatric Association). Your symptoms include, but are not limited to: depression, outbursts of anger, withdrawal or estrangement from others, irritability and a sense of hopelessness.

And here you were thinking it was the I-4 traffic.

Could it be that those feelings of anxiety and unease were part of a woman's character before an abortion and thus just as likely to continue afterwards, as the APA has concluded? No. Rather, it's a bunch of contrition-arthropods pinballing around your insides and digesting your very soul! And in their Aug. 24-25 seminars — see details at www.callforhope.org — Reveille's licensed social worker and mental health counselor will be "reclaiming the years the locusts have eaten" thanks to your coat-hanger embryo-frittata.

Should you wish to go but have no transportation, inquire about their "caring and confidential car." After five minutes in that motor carriage, you'll be wishing for your own intact dilation and extraction.

Long before the tell-tale stain on the Lewinsky dress stole the historic-apparel limelight, the masses longed to be a victim of church-aisle pilling on Princess Diana's never-ending 1981 wedding-dress trail. They won't get their chance this time, either, but Bright House Networks and the WE channel are offering the morbidly curious a chance to see two of Di's gowns that WE won at a Christie's auction prior to her royally tragic death 10 years ago.

Grandmothers and homosexuals can view these dresses at the Orange County Regional History Center from Aug. 17-19, as part of an exhibit called "Diana: A Glimpse of Elegance."

The straight and the young are invited too, but let's not kid ourselves.

This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Jason Ferguson, Billy Manes, Kent Russell and Deanna Sheffield.

happytown@orlandoweekly.com

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