Guy Tunnell is Back
I was recently tipped off about this in an email from Kevin Wood. Bad cops don't go away. They just get another job. Case in point is Guy Tunnell. Like a bad cold. He won't go away.
The next month, some black community leaders are upset to learn Tunnell has been hired as an investigator in the State Attorney's Office.
"If you were connected to some kind of investigation that was going on, you most certainly wouldn't be given until a job until it was resolved. In this case he was given a job before it was resolved. It looks like to me that represents a lack of respect for human life," says Rev. Woodrow Wilson, president of the Bay County Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
State Attorney Steve Meadows is forced to defend his newest employee.
"He's contributed greatly to the efforts in the State Attorney's Office. It would be inappropriate for me to discuss what particular cases he's working on, because we don't want to alert the potential defendants out there what his activities may be," says Meadows.
Six months after becoming an investigator with the cold case unit, News 13 wants to know if Tunnell is earning his $70,000 paycheck.
You may remember Tunnell tried to not allow the videotape of Martin Anderson's death to go public.
"Ain't gonna happen," Tunnell wrote in an e-mail to FDLE staffers about the request.
But one of the lawmakers who first saw the video said Tuesday FDLE should've stayed out of the Bay County troubles since the boot camp was conceived by Tunnell when he was sheriff there.
"I encourage the state attorney's office who is investigating this and I know the federal government is investigating this, to look at what potential cover up has been and all the potential players in it," said state Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami Beach, adding that "from day one, there's been a big cover up on what happened to Martin Lee Anderson."
It did happen and Tunnell was forced to resign against his personal wishes. Black community leaders have good reason to fear Tunnell.
During a staff meeting, Tunnell reportedly referred to Jesse Jackson as "Jesse James" and referred to Sen. Obama as "Obama bin Laden".
Kevin Wood provides this additional background information on Tunnell.
The primary issue, among other issues of Bay County corruption, that John raised in 1993 was a scheme called Cash Register Justice involving a payoff scheme involving the state attorney’s office and local law enforcement, particularly Cedar Grove Police Department for mostly DUI cases, in which defendants made “contributions” to law enforcement or other agencies in the court system or elsewhere to have charges dropped or reduced. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), i.e. Tunnell, was also involved.
The Bay County Grand Jury condemned the practice and it was stopped, mainly because the courts in Florida had deemed the practice illegal.
Wood has a history with Tunnell.
Circa 1997 to 1998 I then became involved in the Sun Dancer matter where Tunnell authorized 18 or more deputies to attack the black business because, after meeting with white neighbors, those neighbors didn’t want a “black” business in their neighborhood. The extent of Tunnell’s conspiracy with neighbors and against the patrons and owner of the Sun Dancer is better detailed in the Judge Mickle order I sent you.
In the minds of Hess and Tunnell I was public enemy number one. As such, I have since been barred from the courthouse by Hess and this order has been enforced by Tunnell.
My initial interest was for community concerns, i.e. payoffs and civil rights violations, but when Hess and Tunnell turned that to retaliation against my family and I for my speaking out on these matters, it has become personal.
In 1998 my 12 year old daughter was sexually assaulted by an 18 year old. I was also running for Clerk of Court in Bay County at the time. My daughter was on a weekend visitation with my ex-wife’s family. Failing to supervise my daughter allowed the 18 year old to have access to her. In June 1999 my grandson was born a product of the assault. I had custody of both of my daughters and raised my grandson from diapers in 1999 through about 2003 when my daughters went out on their own. Both are now married, I have three grandchildren, and my older daughter is serving in Korea in the Air Force until next December.
Wood's story was written about at Citizens For Judicial Accountability.
Imagine being told you can't go into the courthouse -- even to attend your daughter's child-support hearing.
A Panama City man says that's what happened to him.
More than three years ago Kevin Wood was barred from the Bay County Courthouse by Judge Glenn Hess for inappropriate behavior and being a nuisance.
Now, because of Hess’’ court order, Wood must be escorted through the courthouse by a sheriff deputy when he has official business to conduct. Wood says he must make arrangements for a courthouse visit at least three hours in advance.
But Hess refused to allow Wood into the courthouse on June 27. That’’s when Wood asked to accompany his 16-year-old daughter to a child-support hearing for her 3-year-old son. "When we showed up at the front door of the courthouse,"" Wood says, ""we were confronted by two armed bailiffs."
Wood explains how Tunnel's office reslly didn't like him.
Instead of investigating who assaulted and caused the pregnancy of my 12 year old daughter, Tunnell authorized Lt. Janet Miller, wife of Tunnell’s second in command, Major W.E. Miller, to investigate me for getting my own daughter pregnant. Within hours of the baby’s birth, where I was the ONLY family member at the hospital to care for my daughter, Miller came to the hospital, threatened me with arrest if I entered my then 13 year old daughter’s room, closed the hospital room door, and forced me to stand outside the door and listen to my daughter crying and pleading with Miller that I had nothing to do with it for nearly a half hour. Miller then left I continued to care for my daughter and calm her down.
Tunnell is set to retire in 2008 and get his pension.