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LCPD's Chief Gilmore gets an EZ Pass from State Attorney "Skip" Jarvis in alleged voter fraud issue 


Lake City Police Chief Gilmore: file photo

LAKE CITY, FL – On September 11, 2012, State Attorney "Skip" Jarvis overruled his August 30th claim that his investigation of Chief Gilmore's alleged voting irregularities in the recent primary could be seen as a conflict of interest or give the appearance of impropriety. After handing off the investigation to Supervisor of Elections, Liz Horne, and then getting it handed back, the State Attorney had a mysterious change of heart and investigated the matter himself.

In a memorandum dated September 11, 2012, State Attorney (SA) Jarvis addressed the complaint made by former LCPD Captain Rudolph Davis.

State Attorney Jarvis began with what he claimed were the facts

Links:
• State Attorney Letter to Rudolph Davis
• State Attorney Memorandum - page 01
• State Attorney Memorandum - page 02

According to SA Jarvis, Mr. Davis claimed three alleged violations: (1) Fraud in connection with casting a vote, (2) Voting a fraudulent ballot, and (3) False Swearing.

SA Jarvis continued: Mr. Davis alleges that Chief Gilmore registered to vote using her business address of 225 N.W. Main Blvd., Lake City, Florida as her residence address. This address is the physical location of the Lake City Police Department. He alleges that she actually lives outside the city and that she used this voter registration to vote in the August 2012 City primary election.

This was not exactly what Mr. Davis alleged. His remarks to SA Jarvis follow:  Argatha lives in Emerald Lakes Sub-Division off of Brown Road, which is in the county but she voted in the City of Lake City, City Council, District 12 Election on August 11, 2012, by using her city work address on her voters’ registration application instead of her home address. She voted in district 12, but she does not live in district 12, which is illegal.

Links:
Part I – Lake City Police Chief Lives Outside City Limits: Registers and votes in city

• Part II – LCPD Chief finally registered to vote where she lives. State Attorney passed buck - got it back

Part III – LCPD's Chief Gilmore gets an EZ Pass from State Attorney "Skip" Jarvis in alleged voter fraud issue

The following paragraph by Mr. Davis never made it into the State Attorney's memorandum:  As the Chief of Police at the Lake City Police Department, Argatha Gilmore should have known that it was illegal to vote in a district where she did not live. Argatha casted a fraudulent vote and ballot, and she also filed false voter registration information by including an address that she knew she did not live at.

Mr. Davis also included the following which he found in the Florida Divisions of Elections Voters Guide, page 8:

The reason why it is important to update your address is because, by law, you can only vote in the precinct to which you have moved. However, if you are temporarily living outside your home county and have no permanent address in the county, you can apply to be registered and vote in the precinct that contains the main office of the Supervisor of Elections. You will not, however, be allowed to vote in municipal elections.
                                          
(emphasis added by Mr. Davis)

State Attorney Jarvis continued with what he called the "Investigation"

SA Jarvis began this way: Chief Gilmore first registered to vote in Columbia County after accepting the job as Chief of Police for the City of Lake City.

This is just plain wrong and not supported by any facts. As reported earlier, Chief Gilmore registered to vote in Columbia County in July of 2011. This information was turned over to SA Jarvis by Columbia County Supervisor of Elections Liz Horne on September 5th.

Additionally, if State Attorney Jarvis would have asked around, he would have learned that in 2010 there was talk among the command staff in the LCPD about Chief Gilmore voting in Tallahassee.

SA Jarvis also said in his investigation:  The Supervisor of Elections pointed out that the supervisors in Tallahassee had also failed to recognize the address as a business address.

This is not true. The paper work received from Supervisor Horne does not bare this out and there is no explanation why SA Jarvis did not get in touch with Tallahassee himself.

The State Attorney's Findings and Conclusion

SA Jarvis found the appearance of an "initial error in Chief Gilmore's initial update of her driver's license information which led to her being incorrectly registered to vote in the wrong precinct."

SA Jarvis also added that the vote wouldn't have altered the outcome of the election and that no one else realized it.

SA Jarvis concluded that all of the irregularities were unforced errors and he invoked the "no harm – no foul doctrine."

SA Jarvis's final statement:  Based upon the finding of the investigation, it appears that upon the discovery of the error, it was corrected. There appears to be no intent to violate the election laws of the State of Florida. In consideration of the fact that there appears to be no intent to violate the law, that there was no harm done, and that the error has now been corrected, there is little reason to pursue this matter further and the case will be closed.

Epilogue

Nowhere in any part of State Attorney Jarvis's investigation does he ever state that he spoke with the person who voted in the wrong district, County resident and Lake City Police Chief, Argatha Gilmore.

It is business as usual in Columbia County, Florida.

An e mail to Chief Gilmore and a phone call to SA Jarvis were not returned.

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