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GPD investigation provides little new information about leaked police reports

Carlos Holt speaks to the City Commission on June 6, 2019

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD) has concluded its investigation into who leaked unredacted police reports that divulged personal information about the family of former City Auditor Carlos Holt.

Holt filed a complaint with GPD on June 20, 2019, alleging that according to City of Gainesville Human Resources Director Lisa Jefferson, the investigative reports on Holt and his family were “tightly controlled and held or disseminated to only a very small number of persons, known to include: Chief Tony Jones, Assistant Chief Terrance Pierce, Detective NS Jackson, City Manager Lyons, Interim City Manager Bowie, HR Director Lisa Jefferson, Mayor Poe, City Commissioners Arreola, Hayes-Santos, Johnson, Simmons, Ward, and Warren.”

These reports were somehow obtained by an unknown person who mailed them out to various members of the community, including Gainesville Sun reporter Andrew Caplan, various Alachua County offices, Nathan Skop, Gabe Kaimowitz, various Gainesville city employees, “and others.”

According to the Internal Affairs investigative report, “Internal Affairs conducts administrative, not criminal investigations. Internal Affairs was directed to review the matter to determine if there were any policy or procedure violations on the part of members of the Gainesville Police Department associated with this matter.”

The background section of the report goes through the events preceding Holt’s firing: After he presented his office’s audit of the Reichert House, there was an insinuation that he had a conflict of interest with and animosity against GPD because they had been called to his residence several times. It came out that the City of Gainesville had conducted an inquiry in October of 2018 in response to an email from Holt’s wife that alleged he was abusing her. GPD was notified, and they conducted interviews with Holt, his wife, and their children. It was determined that there was no evidence of physical abuse, and no charges were filed. Police reports associated with the case were provided to Lisa Jefferson, the Human Resources Director for the City of Gainesville.

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Internal Affairs interviewed several people who had received the mailings, but these did not produce any useful information. In each case, the correspondence was sent in an envelope with no return address, and inside the envelope were a printed message/letter, a copy of the Human Resources inquiry, and two police reports. The police reports “appear to be full reports without redaction.”

It was determined that the police reports were “printed from an internal source” and that they were printed in late August, 2018. These are the same reports that were provided to Human Resources. The only other time the reports were printed was in April 2019, long after the mailings were received. The time stamps and other information on the police reports included in the mailings definitively show that they were the same reports provided to Human Resources by GPD.

The Internal Affairs report concluded that “there was nothing discovered that would implicate any member of the Gainesville Police Department as the source of the ‘anonymous mailings’ sent out and received by various members of the public… It is recommended that this administrative review be closed as UNFOUNDED with no further administrative action required.”

We asked GPD whether they would be conducting an investigation into whether anyone at the City was responsible for leaking or sending out the unredacted reports. Chief Inspector Jorge Campos replied, “Our internal investigation did not reveal any leads or information that clearly indicated who may have released the documents or that any city employee did so.  The documents that were mailed could have been obtained in a variety of ways, copied, and mailed.  Without direct information to indicate how that happened or who that may be, there isn’t enough information to conduct an investigation.”

Carlos Holt said the report’s conclusions were “totally expected” and that the report had been completed two days after receipt of his registered letter that requested a status on the investigation, which was supposed to have been completed within 6 months of its initiation on June 20. 

Holt also noted that the report confirmed the premises of his complaint: 1) The anonymously-mailed reports contained unredacted information; 2) Neither Holt nor anyone in his family were charged with any crimes; 3) The anonymous mailings were received by various people; 4) The reports were the same as the ones provided by GPD to Human Resources; and 5) The Human Resources investigative report was concluded before the mailings were sent.

Holt continued, “The HR investigation of me was … provided to city management and all members of the City Commission… Although the Internal Affairs Division concluded that GPD wasn’t responsible, they did not investigate members of HR, City Management, or the City Commission, who were all provided the unredacted information specified as being from the same source as that found in the anonymous mailing… GPD also failed to take fingerprints or DNA from any of the envelopes. Clearly more work needs to be done to investigate those parties. I invite FDLE, the Alachua County Sheriff, the State Attorney, or any other criminal investigative resource to investigate this important matter.”