After FDLE and the FBI announced the investigation of Jackie Pons was closed, Tallahassee Reports talked to Pons’ Attorney Stephen Dobson.
In an exclusive interview, Dobson told TR that “the entire notebook was obviously fabricated to be used against Pons politically by Rocky Hanna.”
The notebook created a stir after it was delivered to a number of local media outlets with various allegations.
An investigation revealed Rocky Hanna and Woody Hildebrandt as the individuals behind the notebook.
The notebook was the beginning of an a FBI investigation into Pons’ activities at the school board in relation to awarding construction contracts to campaign donors.
The investigation resulted in over 50 articles in the Tallahassee Democrat leading up to Pons’ defeat in the general election in November 2016.
Dobson also told TR that this is “the first time in my career that the US Attorney has stated that a case is closed.”
Shortly after the FDLE press release, Pons tweeted that he has “asked FDLE and the FBI to release all the documents so the community can see all of the lies that were reported to them.”
After all Póns has been through, I certainly hope he brings a lawsuit. So many people had to be complicit in this for Hanna to get away with it. I also heard Gwen Graham was very involved in the election and the notebook. She refused to answer Any questions on it when that Tampa paper interviewed her. She certainly does not need to be governor.
We have, obviously, had our own witch hunt going on right here in Tallahassee! It appears that the disgruntled former principal of Leon High School, Rocky Hanna created his own “notebook of revenge,” to destroy the career of Jackie Pons as well ruin his personal life! It takes an evil heart full of hate and revenge to do what Hanna apparently did to Pons! Do hope he will be a one term school superintendent as he deserves a dose of his own medicine!
Wow…you people make all these allegations…And every time u morons are wrong… Wow, this is silly…..
Todd, nothing listed in the Hank Coxe report is an allegation. Mr. Coxe interviewed Mr. Hanna. Mr. Hanna admitted he had no knowledge of wrongdoing. Mr. Hanna admitted he wrote the summaries for each section which were written to be misleading and incorrect. Mr. Hanna admitted he circulated the notebook. Mr. Hanna promoted 5 people shortly after he was placed in office to Associate Superintendent positions without an interview process, the same for Ms. Bell and Ms. Kraul. Mr Hanna is now signing construction contracts. Mr. Weldon contributed to Mr. Hanna’s campaign, his company now has a large contract and from what I can tell he is over budget and behind.
What aspect of the evidence do you find troubling?
Rocky, Rocky, Rocky we knew pay for play was alive and well when you promoted almost immediately 5 staff to Assistant Superintendents, then also promoting Shelly Bell and Sue Kraul without interviews. Now construction contracts to buddies, while you sign off on the contracts. Can we please have an investigation? But Rocky, I will limit my power of the pen to a webpage, I will not pull together innuendo, write misleading summaries and get with my attorney buddy to seek out a specific FBI agent, nor will I ask a former congressperson to get involved behind the scenes.
Pay for play the new Rocky way!
Rickarks High School, a multi-million dollar contract that went to his friend Casey Weldon, Allstate Construction. I wonder how much money Casey gave Hanna?
I’m not sure that no charges means that material was fabricated…it could be that what was there did not rise to a chargable crime that a prosecutor or us attorney thought they could win a a conviction….now a charge that someone fabricated material and gave it to the FBI seems like something you shouldn’t be throwing around without done pretty strong corroborating evidence.
I don’t recall DOJ announcing a case was closed except in an unusual circumstance, such as when it could cause protests and there was a desire to provide an explanation to quell community backlash. Maybe things have changed in the last decades, but for them to do this makes me think they are not happy about being used for political gain. The justice system is there to help people and make our society a better place, not a tool to hurt and attack political enemies. Hopefully this will make the superintendent stop misusing the justice system to hurt people.
Please read the report by the attorney hired by the school board Hank Coxe. Serch for DOCUMENTS: Bedell Law Firm Report Leon County Schools
Almost three ago Hank Coxe and and attorney Meyer detailed that the information in the notebook and the written summaries (Hanna admitted he wrote the summaries in each section) were misleading pieced together to give the appearance of something illegal. Rocky Hanna admitted he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing! By the way guess who is now Superintendent and signing off on construction contracts….Ask Rocky how far behind and over budget is Rickards High School?
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To Rocky Hanna, resign. To all employees of Leon Schools, please think of a silent but meaningful protest to show Rocky Hanna what he did was wrong and will not be overlooked. To the Leon School Board, you have had the report from an attorney you hired for over 3 years and you have yet to admonish or censure employee Hanna now Superintendent, an embarrassing lack of follow-through of you responsibilities.All of you should be voted out of office in this and upcoming elections. Your inaction speaks volumes. To Jeff Wahlen the school board attorney who approved every contract Rocky Hanna misunderstood and misrepresented in his “notebook” for your silence in the process is a question for the Florida bar to look into.
To Mr. Pons, the community owes you and your family a smile, a handshake and the hope that you and your family have a future filled with happiness.
You make a good point Al. The Ausley Law Firm, where Jeff Wahlen works did not like Jackie Pons. They have hired Pam Marsh, former US District Attorney, who was over the FBI when Hanna sent the book to the FBI. She was an Obama appointee and left when Trump was elected. The Ausley Law firm represents the city, school board and the Democrat. Marsh is representing the City in their FBI case. Pons never stood a chance with the school board legal team. Hanna knew this and used it to run his political scam. He will get away with it because he is a Leon High School graduate. Gwen Graham and her dad will see to it. Just my opinion as a nobody.
If my recollection is correct at no point did Jeff Wallin or anyone from his law firm ever stand up and say they reviewed every contract and they were legal. The Authority for the school system to enter into a construction contract rests with the superintendent’s recommendation to the board the board’s attorney review and acknowledgement that the terms of the contract are proper.
Rocky Hanna misued the system and became a hero unto himself while at the same time he was out to ruin the lives and livelihood of several people in the school district.
Agreed. Another for instance of Tallahassee Democrat misleading readers. Today Chris Petley the LCS spokesperson said and printed in the Democrat that Rocky Hanna never admitted to circulating the notebook…read page 6 of the Hank Coxe report! Hanna admitted to doing the circulation of the notebook. LCS in now calling Hank Coxe, the past president of the Florida Bar a liar. Nice Chris Petley! Some 3 years later Rocky Hanna and Chris Petley want to rewrite history. Who in this community can trust Hanna or Petley?
Why is Chris Petley commenting on a civil suit against an individual over a political matter? I don’t want my tax dollars paying for that. Stick to school issues please.
TR is the best !
If the dossier is based on lies and the book is based on lies, then the FBI should arrest Hillary and Hanna for false information and lying. Wonder how much of our Federal taxes it cost to investigate these false accusations? FBI do your job!
If this is true then the notebook is the exact equivalent of the Russian dossier. Made up by the opposition candidate, submitted to the FBI as evidence, causing a lengthy investigation.
Read the report by the attorney the school board hired, Hank Coxe available through a google search on the Leon County Schools website Mr. Hanna admitted he no firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing, nobody in construction backed up his innuendos and Mr. Hanna admitted he wrote the summaries in each section which were written to mislead state and federal authorities. I wonder why the school board never publicly sanctioned him.
Everything that Mr. Hanna has done should now be put under a microscope. Imagine if it were you that was the focus of the notebook. Imagine your life and the stress it would cause if you were targeted by this type of behavior that was all based on innuendo and misinformation.
Mr. Hanna should file suit against Mr. Dobson for defamation/slander if Mr. Dobson’s allegations can be proven to be false. Otherwise, Mr. Pons should file suit against Mr. Hanna for defamation/slander to, at a minimum, recover legal expenses incurred thus far, if it can be definitely shown Mr. Hanna was aware he was spreading information which was not truthful. Actions speak louder than words. What if we just have a good old fashioned duel with swords or pistols and sell tickets and tv rights to help recover costs incurred so far by the public? Better yet, let’s just start heating some tar and picking feathers off Canadian Geese. This whole situation is a poor representation of the Democratic Republic in which we are supposed to reside and illustrates to others, although it unfotunately happens everywhere, why Tallahassee/Leon County puts the “duh” in Florida….
OK Leon County School Board, Mr. Hanna lied to you. He violated Board Policy when he falsely claimed whistleBlower status for lies. Do your job! Have him recalled and make him pay back the tax payers $600,000.
Who distributed those notebooks to every body?
Rocky Hanna sent them to tv stations, newspapers, FBI, Florida Department of Education, FDLE ,FBIand others
Mr. Hanna. See Tall. Democrat articles.
One scumbag hoses another scumbag, BFD…….
The big deal is Rocky Hanna mislead state and federal authorities. This is possibly a criminal offense and warrants an investigation. The big deal is Rocky Hanna cost taxpayers, our tax dollars, $600,000 in the investigation when he knowingly mislead state and federal authorities. The big deal is Rocky Hanna did this to Jackie Pons, who is next on his hit list? The big deal is Rocky Hanna purposely destroyed the lives and repution of several people. It is a big deal!