Well, you gotta love this one!
(Note: Skip is referring to this story…Pineda Threatens CAP Member After He Requested his Bio)
Actually, Pineda is incorrect. There is no Florida law that says “posting of information on active law enforcement officers or their families” is illegal. In fact, under the Florida Public Records Law (Chapter 119, F.S.), ANY records created with taxpayer dollars are subject to release. The only restriction is that the home addresses of “current or former law enforcement officers, judges, state’s attorneys, or child abuse investigators” is exempted from release under that law. Anything else, including copies of a state employee’s entire personnel record, is a public record and must be released if requested.
News of the Force has twice requested information from the FDLE on Pineda, and they have refused to answer. We have forwarded a complaint to the Attorney General of Florida.
Pineda likes to use his position to threaten people. When he fired me from my job as Florida Wing Administrator in 1998, he also threatened me with a “criminal investigation” over some imagined wrong-doing. The only criminal investigation that happened was when the OSI and the FBI, using federal search warrants, raided Florida Wing headquarters, five other wings, and the national headquarters, in a coordinated sweep all at the same time to keep the various “targets” from warning each other. During their investigation, the OSI told me that I was considered a “protected federal witness” and actually offered me armed protection by federal agents against anything Pineda might try to do to me.
Right after my termination, and after Pineda had moved all of the Wing’s files and records from MacDill AFB to South Florida BEFORE the federal agents descended on Florida Wing HQ, the OSI called me and asked, “Do you know where “Wing HQ South is?” I didn’t. Could it be possible that as a state law enforcement officer, Pineda had been “tipped off” to the coming federal raid?
One OSI agent actually told me, “You know, someday Pineda is going to be the CAP’s National Commander…and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. God bless ’em all!”
We’re wondering now whose Blackberry Pineda used to issue this threat to you. I sincerely hope it’s the state’s. Pineda, of course, uses his state vehicle on CAP business; has CAP mail and packages mailed to his state office address, and uses state phones and fax machines for CAP business. All of this is illegal under the Florida Administrative Code and is a cause for termination of the employment of a state employee, however the FDLE has done nothing about it.
Like President Nixon and his “enemies list,” Pineda has used his position as a state law enforcement officer to “run” members of the CAP on his own “enemies list” through the Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to try to get information on CAP members that he doesn’t like. This, of course, is in violation of both state and federal regulations. Again, the FDLE has done nothing.
As to the ROBERT SIMS caper: About a year-and-a-half ago, we interviewed Taylor Fealy, who at the time of the described incident was 15 years old; she’s now 22. At first, as soon as I told her my name, she said, “You work for the Civil Air Patrol and I don’t want to talk to you.” After I explained to her that I was no longer CAP and now an Internet news reporter, she agreed to speak to me.
Taylor told me that she did in fact move in with ROBERT SIMS, then a senior member older that 18, with the help of several CAP members, including Pineda. She stated to me at the time that she was no longer living with ROBERT SIMS. She also told me that she was, at that time, pregnant, but refused to tell me who the baby’s daddy is.
Taylor told me that when her brother, Dustin, came to a CAP meeting and tried to confront ROBERT SIMS, Pineda was there, and threatened Dustin with arrest.
According to Dustin, who we also talked to, when the confrontation was over “and no assault of any kind occurred,” he left the meeting. He said “I went one way in my car, and ROBERT SIMS and Taylor went the other way.”
Taylor advised us that Pineda had three CAP members, including herself, fill out sworn statements about the incident. She said that Pineda said he was going to use the statements only “to keep Dustin away from us…I had no idea that he was going to use them to send my brother to prison.” When I asked her who filled out those statements, she said, “Well, it was me, a senior member named Ed Wasserman, and I don’t remember the name of the other one.” She went on to say, “Pineda told us exactly what to write in the statements.”
When we asked further about Pineda, Taylor said, “Well, I know he’s a ‘dirty’ cop.” When we asked about specifics, she said she didn’t know any, “but his son can tell you about him. I think he’s in the CAP…somewhere.”
And, if fact, Pineda’s son is in the Nebraska Wing of the CAP. But, according to our information, there are two Antonio Pineda’s in that Wing, and we have no idea which is his son. The Nebraska Wing has been somewhat less than forthcoming in putting us in contact with Pineda’s son.
In the meantime, News of the Force requested a copy of the case file on Dustin from the Broward County Clerk of the Court in Ft. Lauderdale. They “stonewalled” ever since, but finally this month agreed to send us a copy of the court file on the case after a hefty payment from us for the copies. The case file is supposedly now on its way to us.
And, according to Dustin Fealy, Pineda showed up at Dustin’s job about tow or three days after the incident at the CAP meeting. Dustin, who was on probation for another charge at the time, came from his office is Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) down to Dade County (in Miami) and arrested him, thereby violating his probation. This is not something a state police officer in Florida would normally do — such things are beneath the “elite” FDLE. But Pineda had a personal stake in the issue.
According to Dustin, “my probation officer told me ‘Pineda is out to get you, and I really don’t understand why….but there’s nothing I can do because he’s FDLE.'”
In another mistake of law, Pineda told the then-Florida Wing Commander, Col Andy Skiba, said “that under Florida law it was perfectly legal for a 15-year-old girl to move out of her parent’s house and to go and live with anybody she wants to.” That, of course, is not true — in Florida, parents have complete control over their children until they reach the age of 18.
And, in 1998, Pineda actually tried to get me to sign a “counseling statement” certifying that while an employee of the Florida Wing I has “lost” all of the information and reports on the Fealy case. The fact is that no information on the case was ever sent to Wing. The first time I had ever heard of it was on the day that Taylor’s mother called the Wing asking for help. I told her I knew nothing about any of this as gave her the telephone number of the IG’s office at CAP National Headquarters. I then immediately called Col Skiba and told him about the call, and he said, “Just don’t worry about this, Pineda is handling it. Don’t give that woman anybody’s phone numbers and don’t talk to her again. She’s a nut case.” I told Pineda exactly where he could file his “counseling statement.”
And, at the time we spoke to Taylor Fealy, ROBERT SIMS was assigned as — you guessed it — the Florida Wing Cadet Programs Officer!
Despite the fact that Taylor was still a minor at the time, neither Pineda, the Florida Wing commander, or anyone else made a report to the Florida child abuse authorities, as required of them by Florida law.
News of the Force has also requested copies of the files on these cadet child abuse issues — and on Pineda — from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). In a response to our Freedom of Information Act request, which a federal agency has 20 working days to answer, we received the following reply from the OSI: “This letter is in response to your 6 January 2005 Freedom of Information Act request regarding the investigations of Antonio J. Pineda, Jr, the Civil Air Patrol, child and sexual abuse of Civil Air Patrol cadets…the information you requested may require some research or it may be classified, an extension of time may be required.”
News of the Force