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Documents from the special prosecutor assigned to look into allegations that Third Circuit State Attorney Robert L. “Skip” Jarvis Jr. misused his office states that Jarvis used several confidential databases for personal, or political reasons.
The documents, dated Aug. 21, contain a letter to Gov. Rick Scott and an eight page memorandum of the findings by Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney, Brad King, who was to present those to a Leon County grand jury this week.
Jarvis avoided the grand jury by agreeing to a deal by King on Monday to immediately withdraw his bid for reelection as state attorney, leave office at the end of his current term, which ends on Jan. 7, 2013, and have his certification to search secure databases revoked by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Jarvis has not been charged with anything.
“I agreed not to present the matter to the grand jury nor take any other action in the matter,” King wrote to the governor. “I also agreed to recommend that no other action be taken against Mr. Jarvis.”
The case came about following a complaint by former political opponent and employee of Jarvis’, Michael San Filippo, who said Jarvis misused his office by searching his wife’s name on secure databases.
“Upon finding numerous searches that did not appear to be appropriate, including searches of both Mr. and Mrs. San Filippo, FDLE conducted an investigation including a interview with Mr. Jarvis. Mr. Jarvis then requested the governor to appoint an outside prosecutor to review the results of the FDLE investigation,” the memorandum from King states.
The memorandum states that Jarvis had access to a number of computerized databases that are not available to the average citizen and used those databases for either personal or political purposes.
“These misuses of the databases fall into three broad categories: some that are clearly political, some that can only be described as curiosity, and those related to Mr. Jarvis’ family. There is a fourth group for which no legitimate purpose can be found,” the memorandum states.
Those databases include the Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) which provides, upon a basic search, an individual’s driver’s license number, address, date of birth and current driver’s license photograph; the Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) which provides records of an individual’s arrest and convictions within the state of Florida and the entire country.
“Clearly, Mr. Jarvis was on notice about the limitations upon his use of the information available from the DAVID, FCIC and NCIC databases,” the memorandum states. “We have found evidence that Mr. Jarvis has regularly, and repeatedly, used these databases, particularly DAVID, for purposes that were either purely personal in nature, or not for a proper criminal justice function.”
The political searches
As was titled in the memorandum, the political searches started on June 3, 2011 when Jarvis ran Michael and his wife Sabrina San Filippo’s name through the DAVID database.
“Mr. Jarvis has offered no legitimate purpose for having run these two individuals, we can find none and conclude it was solely related to Mr. San Filippo’s candidacy for state attorney,” the memorandum states. Michael San Filippo announced in early 2011 he would challenge Jarvis for the Democratic nomination, which he ultimately backed out of.
The memorandum states that on March 14 of this year, Jarvis again ran Sabrina San Filippo’s name through DAVID a second time. Her name was then run through FCIC and NCIC. It was stated that Jarvis told FDLE he did so because he saw Sabrina San Filippo at the Wellborn Blueberry Festival on June 4, 2011 in possession of a firearm and that he had reason to believe she was disqualified from carrying a firearm.
The memorandum states that Sabrina San Filippo is a member of the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Posse and is not allowed to carry a firearm. According to the memorandum, the sheriff and two sheriff’s office deputies stated she was not carrying a firearm.
Also, on March 14, Jarvis reportedly ran the name of Jeff Siegmeister and his wife through the DAVID database. Siegmeister is currently running for the office of Third Circuit state attorney as the Republican contender.
“Mr. Jarvis only stated to FDLE he did so to determine their residence, but could offer no explanation why he needed to know their residence,” the memorandum stated. “We can find no satisfactory explanation for his action in running these searches and it appears to have been solely related to Mr. Siegmeister’s candidacy for state attorney.”
The memorandum states that Jarvis ran searches on other individuals who had contact with Jarvis as state attorney, and searched the DAVID database not in context of a criminal prosecution.
Of those searched, one was the legislative aide to a state representative within the Third Circuit. Jarvis also reportedly ran searches on several of his own family members.
According to the memorandum from King’s office, they have found no evidence that would suggest Jarvis used the information he obtained from the database searches “that harmed the person searched, or that benefited himself.”
“However, it is clear that Mr. Jarvis made repeated searches of various persons in clear violation of the user agreements he had signed.”
Search continues for Democratic replacement
The Florida Democratic Party continues to search for a candidate to run on the Democratic ticket against Siegmeister.
“The party is actively working to find a candidate,” said FDP spokesperson, Brannon Jordan.
The party received a letter from the Florida Department of State Tuesday notifying them of Jarvis’ withdrawal. The party had seven days from Tuesday to find a replacement candidate. Jordan said that local democratic executive committees are in the search for the replacement.
“There are local Democrats actively looking at names aggressively,” said Jordan.
As far as the chances of finding someone to replace Jarvis within the time frame to face Siegmeister in November, Jordan said they are “hopeful” they will.