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Monday, November 9, 2015



On November 7, 2015, Will Isern of the Pensacola News Journal published a story, "Tower of Questions," that included some of the essential data briefed to the newspaper by Melanie Nichols and I.  Isern also interviewed Gene Church, president of Divine Word Radio, Inc., the company which signed the General Lease Agreement with the City of Pensacola on August 24, 2012.  Maren DeWeese of Maren's Blog has uncovered a letter sent by George Biggs to Gene Church that contradicts a key element of Church's interview with Will Isern.

Between the information revealed by Gene Church to Will Isern and a letter sent by George Biggs to Gene Church on February 2, 2015, we now have proof that Gene Church has engaged in and continues to engage in deceptive behaviors towards the Federal Communications Commission and the City, respectively, as well as the Pensacola News Journal.


On March 12, 2012, in a filing to the FCC by Gene Church, Church declared in Exhibit 12, a document the FCC considers to be a "material representation," that "The city recently approved zoning to permit replacing the WDWR 250 ft tower with a new 400 ft tower."

However, Will Isern asked city spokesman Vernon Stewart about Gene Church's sworn statement to the FCC regarding the alleged "approved zoning...[for] a new 400 ft tower."  Isern wrote in his article, "On Friday, city spokesman Vernon Stewart confirmed that a variance was never issued."

Thus, Gene Church apparently made a false statement to the Federal Communications Commission.  The City of Pensacola had not amended any of its ordinances governing a "new 400 ft tower" in a Conservation District where new communication towers were explicitly prohibited by City ordinances 12-2-44, 12-2-79, 12-12-2, and 12-1-6.

What we do know for certain is that on May 21, 2012, in a Committee of the Whole, Mayor Hayward recommended that the "City Council authorize the Mayor to lease the City-owned radio tower site within the Long Hollow stormwater basin to...Divine Word Radio, Inc...." and on May 24, 2012, the City Council unanimously approved that recommendation.   However, the City Council would not bring the negotiated General Lease Agreement into force until August 24, 2012, several months after the devastating flood of 2012.

What the City Council may not have known at the time is that since March 20, 2012, and most likely before that date, that Bill Reynolds, then City Administrator, and Stephanie Tillery, a staff attorney in the City Attorney's office had been reviewing drafts of the lease with Gene Church.  On May 3, 2012, Reynolds emailed Church to inform him that "No issues remain" and the boundary survey that the Mayor had authorized in anticipation of selling the City's land to Church was attached.

So, if Gene Church had been led to believe that  the "city recently approved zoning to permit replacing the WDWR 250 ft tower with a new 400 ft tower," the most likely people to have given Church that impression were Bill Reynolds and Stephanie Tillery, and possible others involved in the negotiations.


Regarding the excavation, framing, and pouring of four steel-reinforced concrete foundations--the base foundation directly under the tower and three anchors holding the guy wires--and erecting the tower to 186-feet by September 12, 2014, Gene Church told Will Isern in an interview published in the "Tower of Questions" article that "'The subcontractor was the one at fault for that....He was a subcontractor under Biggs-Green and we were unaware of it until the very beginning of this year.  It was an incredibly costly mistake for us."

This is a bald-faced lie and what Church is apparently counting on is that no one will actually call him on it.

Maren DeWeese has uncovered a letter sent by George Biggs to Gene Church on February 2, 2015.  Biggs informed Church, "It has come to our attention that you have chosen to start erection of the radio tower we have under permit for you without our supervision as contracted."  Biggs continued, "We have no responsibility whatsoever related to the work in place, costs associated with rectifying the situation or any other liability."  In fact, George Biggs told me in a phone interview on September 16, 2015, that he did no work for Church and had not been paid by Church.

Biggs sent a similar email to Bill Weeks, head of Inspection Services, on the evening of February 2, 2015, and, on February 3, 2015, Weeks sent a letter to Gene Church ordering him to "stop all work on the project."

We know for fact certain that on September 12, 2014, Gene Church sent a notification via email to the Federal Aviation Authority stating, "As to the project, we have already begun construction, having completed all foundations and footers, and erected tower to 186 feet.  We anticipate completing the project in the next few weeks."

How can Gene Church have been "unaware of it until the very beginning of this year" and also having told the FAA in September 2014 that the tower was already "186 feet" and we have "completed all foundations and footers"?

The only way that can happen is if you have King Kong-sized cojones and are willing to lie to a newspaper to save the sale of all your radio stations for $1.3 million.  Unfortunately, when your FAA construction permit is hanging in the balance, you cannot lie to the FAA.

Now, in the world of contracting, it is standard practice that the contractor is paid by the contractee as work is completed according to a set schedule.  As the contractor is paid, the subcontractors are paid.

For all the "foundations and footers" to have been excavated, framed, and poured, and the tower erected to "186 feet" by September 12, 2014, and for George Biggs not to have done the work and not to have been paid by Gene Church means that Gene Church directly hired and paid an unknown contractor to do all of this work requiring expertise in erecting radio towers.

The City has still not disclosed who the contractor was in 2014 that installed the four foundations and erected the tower to 186 feet by September 12, 2014.

It could not have happened in the way Church explained to the Pensacola News Journal.  But, that is the same explanation Gene Church gave to Michael Ritz, the architect and secretary of ACC Associates, the in-house design entity within the Ritz family's Gulf Coast Building Contractors firm, where he is also the secretary, in the March 18, 2015, sworn deposition filed with the Escambia County Clerk of the Court.

In the sworn deposition, Gene Church essentially claimed he had paid no one for the magical erection of his 400-foot tower.

Keep in mind that despite the February 3, 2015, Stop-Work-Order from Bill Weeks, five days before (March 13, 2015) Gene Church filed his sworn deposition (March 18, 2015) claiming that all work on the radio tower had ceased on January 29, 2015, that Gene Church filed a form with the FAA stating that the his brand new radio tower was at its "greatest height" of 400 foot.

UPDATE and CORRECTION (11/9/2015//2228H):

After publication of this article, Rick's Blog ran an article, "Attorney for Biggs Construction sends copy of letter to council," explaining that Biggs Construction Company (not Biggs-Green) had served as the overall contractor acquiring all permits and supervising and coordinating the other subcontractors.  Gene Church was responsible for hiring the specialized company to erect the tower.

According to the letter from George Biggs (released by his lawyer Bruce Partington), from March 2014 to January 2015, Biggs Construction was unaware that any work had been performed on the radio tower.  Requests from Biggs to Church for a status update were either ignored or Biggs was told by Church that he was not ready to start.

By February 2, 2015, Biggs finally was informed by Church, according to the letter to the Pensacola City Council, "that Mr. Church first told us that the work was nearly complete, which was very disturbing since the permit had been obtained with our license."  That day they informed the City and Church that Biggs Construction was pulling out of the project.

According to the Biggs's letter, "As you can see, the statements by Mr. Church reported by the Pensacola News Journal regarding the party performing the work being a 'subcontractor' of ours and that he was 'unaware' of it is entirely false."

Again, it is important to note that contrary to Church's communications with Biggs that they were not ready to start the project in 2014, in fact, Church was under pressure from the FAA to complete the tower.  Indeed, Church had to request an extension because his FAA permit was going to expire on September 8, 2014.

And, Omni Broadcasting, which was located on Church's old 250-foot tower needed to request repeated extensions from the FCC because Church's new tower was not yet completed.  See Omni's Special Temporary Authority narratives and/or FCC extensions of June 24, 2013, December 19, 2013, January 6, 2014, July 1, 2014, September 11, 2014, Omni request October 2, 2014, and FCC response October 2, 2014.

The main difficulty with Omni Broadcasting's October 2, 2014 request for a 180-day extension is that on September 24, 2014, Gene Church destroyed his 250-foot tower, leaving only 120-feet standing.  Therefore, it is impossible for Omni Broadcasting to have been broadcasting from the 250-foot tower at 199-feet.


Gene Church may or may not have a legitimate legal beef with the City of Pensacola.  The City authorized construction of a new "radio broadcast facility" including a radio tower in a Conservation District where a new communications tower was prohibited by law.  City ordinances would have also blocked Gene Church from enlarging or expanding his pre-exisiting 250-foot radio tower.

Nevertheless, Gene Church has deceived the City of Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal, and the residents of Pensacola.

He has certainly submitted a false "material representation" to the Federal Communications Commission.  The City of Pensacola in 2012 had not "approved zoning to permit replacing the WDWR 250 ft tower with a new 400 ft tower."  That has been flatly contradicted by the City's public information officer statement to the Pensacola News Journal.

Moreover, it is factually not true that Gene Church had not known "until the very beginning of this year" that the foundations and tower had been erected without his knowledge.  In September 2014, Church had informed the FAA that Divine Word Radio had "completed all foundations and footers, and erected tower to 186 feet."

Gene Church can say anything he wants.  The documentary evidence, especially evidence he personally submitted to the FAA earlier, contradicts his current statements.  He is not a credible person regarding the construction of the radio tower.  The City Council should demand, as is their right under the General Lease Agreement, to see all financial records from his personal and business banking accounts regarding the illegal and unsafe construction of the 400-foot radio tower inside Long Hollow Stormwater Pond.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Divine Word Radio Tower: ILLEGAL and UNSAFE


This CJ's Street Report blog post comes in the form of a PowerPoint slide briefing linked to supporting documentation.

This briefing focuses upon a radio tower located at the intersection of Palafox Street and Jordan Street in the North Hill Historical District.  Specifically, Divine Word Radio, Inc.'s (DWR) radio tower is located on property owned by the City of Pensacola leased to DWR.

The radio tower is located at the north end and inside of the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond which, since 1991 has been zoned, CO, or Conservation District.

This briefing argues that DWR's radio tower located inside the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond is ILLEGAL in a five ways and UNSAFE in four ways.

What makes this briefing and the Pensacola News Journal story so powerful is that they are built from documents sworn to be true by Gene Church, head of the Alabama-based Divine Word Communications that operates in Pensacola, Florida, as Divine Word Radio, Inc.

These sworn to be true documents and exhibits that are "material representations" were submitted by Gene Church to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Information derived from FAA and FCC documents are, therefore, indisputable.  Gene Church cannot claim this data is false because he is the person who swore the information in FCC applications was "true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief, and are made in good faith."

The FAA regulates and controls the airspace above any large structure to ensure that it does not interfere with aviation.  The FAA, therefore, is the lead agency in the permit and construction process.  If a tower were to interfere with aviation, the FAA would not grant a construction permit and the FCC, in turn, would also not authorize the construction of a radio tower.  The FCC has other regulatory powers and oversight, but it is the FAA documents that provide ground truth for when events happened.


To understand how Gene Church was able to pull off the apparent deception the reader must understand that ground truth is found in the FAA and FCC documents, as well as photographic evidence.

Gene Church had to tell the truth to the FAA and the FCC--he was building a NEW 400-foot tower.

To his Professional Engineer Leo L. Roberts, he requested the design for a 350-foot tower.  He had his contractor of record, George Biggs, twice submit engineering drawings in 2014 and 2015 and twice receive City permits to build a 350-feet tower.

Gene Church then used unknown contractors in 2014 and 2015 to put in four foundations--one for the base and three anchor bases for the guy wires, and then erect the 400-foot tower over a period of seven months, starting in September 2014.  George Biggs did not do this work.  No known contractor did this work, according to Gene Church's own sworn statement and City records.

Then, Gene Church had an unknown contractor put in a foundation for an equipment shelter; an unknown contractor put the equipment shelter on top of the foundation; then an unknown electrical contractor install or hookup the electronics and run an ice bridge from the equipment shelter to the tower.

All of this apparently violates the terms of the General Lease Agreement because there are no permits for any of this work and there are no known contractors of record; it may also constitute fraud by Gene Church; and, Gene Church also violated the terms of the General Lease Agreement by having no liability insurance for any of this work on record with the City since August 2013--more than two years.

This is not a case of bureaucratic oversights, or mishandling of documents, or something or other falling through the cracks.  These are deceptions perpetrated by Gene Church and enabled and protected by gross mismanagement (or worse) by the Mayor, the City Administrator, the City Attorney, and the Inspection Services department.

These are strong and tough accusations that rest on a body of evidence that is indisputable.


The indisputable fact is that August 8, 2011, the FAA issued Aeronautical Study 2011-ASO-3241-OE granting authority to construct a NEW tower "400 feet above ground level (AGL)" at the following geographic coordinates (NAD83): 30 Degrees, 25 Minutes, and 59.9 Seconds North; and, 87 Degrees, 13 Minutes, and 8.7 Seconds West.

Divine Word Radio's station WDWR was already broadcasting from an OLD 250-foot tower located just a few seconds away from where the new tower would be constructed between September 2014 and March 2015, a period of seven months.

According to a 1999 FCC approval for Antenna Structure Registration Number 1060330 to increase its height by five meters to 76.2 meters (250-feet) the NAD83 geographical coordinates were:  30 Degrees, 25 Minutes, and 57 Seconds North; and 87 Degrees, 13 Minutes, and 7.1 Seconds West.

The radio tower in dispute is the NEW tower.  The OLD tower was destroyed, presumably through the use of explosives, on September 24, 2014, by an unknown company working for Divine Word Radio.  As will be shown through FAA documentation, 12 days earlier, on September 12, 2014, Gene Church informed the FAA that the NEW tower stood at 186-feet while construction continued.

Once Gene Church voluntarily destroyed his old tower, his "grandfather" clause for the old tower terminated.  His new tower could not, according to numerous City ordinances, be located within the Conservation District.  Under City ordinances, neither the City Council nor the Zoning Board of Adjustment have the legal authority to permit a communications tower to be constructed in a Conservation District.

On February 2, 2015, George Biggs, the contractor of record and the holder of the two permits to construct a new radio tower for Divine Word Radio, informed Bill Weeks using his iPhone that "It has come to our attention that the owner has started the work we permitted through you...without our supervision.  Please suspend all permits with the city and remove our firm name from the permit.  We no longer have an agreement with this owner."

On February 3, 2015, Bill Weeks, head of the City of Pensacola's Inspection Services, sent a letter to Gene Church declaring that "you must stop all work on the project."  Bill Weeks also stated that the project in question was "your installation of a 350 foot antenna that was initially permitted in February of 2014, and renewed in January of 2015 due to inactivity..."

Why did Bill Weeks, knowing that the contractor of record had not done any of the construction on the tower--especially since the tower stood at 186 feet on September 12, 2014, not immediately demand that Gene Church provide all contractual and financial records related to this illegal construction?  Why did Bill Weeks not inform the Pensacola Police Department of potential fraud by Gene Church and his unknown contractor(s)?

Unless Gene Church has the Jedi capability to tell Bill Weeks, "This is not the tower you are looking for," what can explain Bill Weeks' lack of curiosity and unwillingness to protect the "property and lives" of residents of Pensacola?

How do we know that the tower could kill residents of Pensacola and damage their property?  Why Bill Weeks told Gene Church that very thing on February 3, 2015.  In Weeks' letter to Church, Weeks wrote that the three anchor foundations for the guy wires "are critical items that if they failed could cause the loss of property or lives."

Here also is the clearest example that Gene Church deliberately and willfully misleading the City of Pensacola and his Oklahoma-based Professional Engineer, Leo L. Roberts.

As early as May 24, 2011, Gene Church had applied to build a 400 foot tower erroneously using the NAD83 coordinates for his existing old tower.  The FAA wanted the coordinates for the new tower.

Twice, on March 3, 2014, and January 28, 2015, the City's Inspection Services approved Leo L. Roberts' "Tower Analysis and Foundation Design 350' Guyed Tower."

Keep in mind that between February 3, 2015, when Gene Church was informed that his then contractor, Biggs Green Construction had quit and pulled his permit to construct a new tower, and June 12, 2015, when Church's new contractor, Gulf Coast Building Contractors was issued permit 15-05-0005 to "repair to code" the foundation bases, that were were no permits issued to continue erecting the new radio tower and there was no contractor of record.

Yet, on March 13, 2015, Gene Church informed the FAA that the new tower was now at its "greatest height" of 400 feet.

The significance is that the illegally and unsafely constructed tower had been completed within five days of March 13th.  Now, the FAA Supplemental Notice Part 2 has a typographical error.  The year for the "greatest height" entry is not 2014 but 2015 because we know that on September 12, 2014, the tower was only 186 feet, according to an earlier statement submitted to the FAA by Gene Church.

Keep in mind, on February 3, 2015, Gene Church was explicitly told to "stop all work on the project."  Thirty-eight days later the tower is 400-feet, having been raised from between 186-feet and 240-feet from February 3rd.  Who is the contractor of record?  Where is the permit?  Where is the certificate of insurance?

Can the Mayor, City Council, Inspection Services, or anyone else explain how that it is possible?  Why did Bill Weeks and his Inspection Services personnel not notice the crane and the construction workers and their vehicles on City property?

Why did Bill Weeks fail to secure City property to ensure that no one was killed by the tower?

How did Gene Church continue building an illegal and unsafe 400-foot tower that has never been approved by the City after a stop-work order has been issued to him, there are no contractors of record, and no permits issued?

Can the Mayor, City Council, or Inspection Services tell us why there has been no investigation of this illegal and unsafe behavior by Gene Church and his unknown contractors who not only illegally poured four foundation bases, illegally erected the tower, illegally poured a foundation for an equipment shelter, illegally installed an equipment shelter, illegally put the electronics inside the equipment shelter, and then illegally erected an ice bridge from the equipment shelter to the tower?

In fact, the City informed Ms. Melanie Nichols that the tower passed its final inspection by the City on August 7, 2015, and that she need not worry about the tower.

While we do not have the final inspection report, which Ms. Nichols had requested and not received, we wonder if anyone from the City's Inspection Services bothered to measure the tower?  You know, do something as basic as drop a tape measure from the top of the tower just to see, out of curiosity, if the tower really was 350 feet.

How can a 400-foot tower which the City never approved and never issued a permit pass a "final inspection"?

Can the Mayor, City Council, or Inspection Services explain how that is possible?



  • First, the radio tower is located within an area zoned, CO, or Conservation District, which prohibits the existence of communication towers and does not allow for any City Council or Zoning Board variances or exceptions.
  • Second, the City's Building Department twice approved an engineering proposal by the Leo Roberts engineering firm in Oklahoma to erect a 350-foot radio tower.  Instead, DWR and unknown construction firm at times certain erected a 400-foot radio tower.
  • Third, even if DWR and its unknown construction firm had erected a 350-foot tower, the construction firm failed to build to the engineering specifications that the City had approved and failed to have any of four steel reinforced concrete foundations inspected and approved by the City's Inspection Services.
  • Fourth, on February 3, 2015, the DWR radio tower stood between 186-feet and 241-feet when the City's Inspection Services issued Mr. Church an immediate STOP-WORK ORDER and ordered him to remove all the poured concrete and start again following proper procedures.  Moreover, not only was this direct order to remove all previous work ignored, DWR and an unknown contractor(s) proceeded to raise the radio tower to 400-feet within five days of March 13, 2015.
  • Fifth, for two years, since August 1, 2013, Divine Word Radio has not submitted to the City, as required by the General Lease Agreement, certificates of insurance--thus opening up the City to financial liabilities.

  • First, even if DWR's radio tower had been built to the engineering specifications and the City-approved 350-feet, none of the four reinforced concrete foundations--one for the base foundation and three anchor points for the guy wires--were built to the engineering specifications.
  • Second, none of the four poured concrete foundations were inspected by the City's Inspection Services.
  • Third, none of the four poured concrete foundations were removed as ordered by the City's Inspection Services on February 3, 2015.
  • Fourth, neither the Leo Roberts engineering firm nor the City's Building Department had designed and approved, respectively, a proposal for a 400-foot tower.
This briefing and the accompanying documents and photographs demonstrate that the above nine findings are factually correct.

Moreover, we argue, these nine findings are indisputable because the briefing is derived from documents submitted by Mr. Gene Church, president of Divine Word Radio, Inc., to the FAA and the FCC and sworn to be true, and, they are based on the City's Inspection Services' documents we believe were valid when they written and remain valid today.


They want the City Council to terminate the lease.  The City can use whatever legal grounds they need, many of which may be found in this brief.

They want both towers, including the 24,000 feet of copper cable buried eight-feet under the old tower that radiates out for 200-feet in three-degree increments (200 feet x 120 spokes) removed from the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond.

They want the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond dredged to remove the silt and with the towers removed, the pond expanded to mitigate flooding in the area until the City Council approves more permanent and robust measures.

Finally, they want the City Council to initiate an investigation into Divine Word Radio's illegal and unsafe behaviors using the following Essential Elements of Information as a guide.


This is not to say that this briefing leaves no investigative or factual gaps.  There are.  Only the City Council with the power to compel Gene Church to provide documents as required by the General Lease Agreement signed on August 24, 2012, between the City and DWR, can address these factual or investigative gaps.

Absent action by the City Council, it would require the Pensacola Police Department, the Federal Communications Commission, and/or the State Attorney to begin a preliminary investigation to determine if specific laws have been broken and by whom.

What are the factual or investigative gaps that need to be addressed by the Essential Elements of Information?
  • First, which construction company began construction in January 2013 and which construction company erected the radio tower in September 2014 when it stood 186-feet tall by September 12, 2014, according to FAA documentation?
  • Second, which construction or demolition company destroyed the old, pre-existing radio tower on September 24, 2014, using presumably explosives for which the City has no record of a permit, according to Divine Word Radio's video of the event?
  • Third, which insurance company has provided insurance coverage to Divine Word Radio as specified in the General Lease Agreement?
  • Fourth, which construction company and which electrical contracting company installed the foundation and the equipment shelter, respectively, in January-February 2015 and what permits did they have to install this foundation and shelter, as witnessed by RCC Associates, a company under contract to the city to manage communication towers and photographed by Ms. Nichols' research team and Google Earth?
  • Fifth, which construction company using which approved engineering proposal and which City-approved permit finished erecting the tower from at least 186-feet on February 3, 2015, to 400-feet on March 13, 2015, while ignoring the City Inspection Services' STOP-WORK ORDER, according to FAA documentation?
  • Sixth, who in the City government told Mr. Church by March 15, 2012, that the City had approved a zoning change that would permit DWR to replace its 250-foot tower with a new 400-foot tower, according to a DWR submission to the FCC?
  • Seventh, although Roberts engineering firm submitted plans to the City's Inspection Services to place steel-reinforced concrete on top of the existing, but illegally poured and never removed anchor foundations, as photographed on July 25, 2015--134 days after the FAA was informed the tower was now at its maximum height of 400-feet on March 13, 2015, the latter according to FAA documentation, where is Roberts' statement and calculations that everything designed and installed "will meet all of the requirements of the Florida Building Code so that they may be reviewed"?
  • Eighth, on April 29, 2015, Bill Weeks informed City Administrator Eric Olson that I "have received all of the data I needed to re-issue the permit for the antenna...for Divine Word."  Where is the data, from whom was this data submitted, and when?  What was the permit for?  Was it to construct a 400-foot radio tower that was already 400-feet tall?
  • Ninth, where is the City's final inspection report?  Who performed it?  How tall did they measure the tower to be?

Regarding EEI points seven and eight above, it is curious that this demand for a statement and calculations from Leo L. Roberts was twice issued by Bill Weeks to Michael Ritz, the architect of record for Gulf Coast Building Contractors, on March 25, 2015, and again on November 4, 2015--the day after the Pensacola News Journal asked the City's Public Information Office for information about the tower.

Why did Bill Weeks tell Eric Olson on April 29, 2015, that he had "received all of the data I needed to re-issue the permit for the antenna" and then ask Gulf Coast Building Contractors to provide a "statement" with "calculations" from the engineer of record on November 4, 2015?

Now, although the document states that it was prepared November 6, 2015, that is not true.  Melanie Nichols and I received that document via email on November 4, 2015.

The re-issue of the very same letter seven months apart suggests that Bill Weeks is trying to protect himself because he knows that Leo L. Roberts via Michael Ritz has not submitted a "statement" with "calculations" showing the foundation or foundations that were designed and installed would "meet all of the requirements of the Florida Building Code."

How could they?  Leo L. Roberts designed a tower, a foundation base, and three anchor bases for a 350-foot tower, not a 400-foot tower.


We believe the residents of the North Hill and Long Hollow areas, those living in an area directly threatened by flooding, deserve answers to these questions.  Furthermore, the City Council should be demanding answers to these questions and others they may deem equally important.

We believe these factors that make Divine Word Radio's tower ILLEGAL and UNSAFE should lead the City Council to revoke the General Lease Agreement because its terms were materially and substantially violated.

Furthermore, once the tower is removed and all the associated underground cabling linked to the old tower is removed, the Long Hollow Storm Water pond should be dredged and expanded while the City discusses other options to protect the City from flooding--as required by state and city statutes.


Slide 1

Slide 2

Slide 3

This section establishes that since the first Comprehensive Plan for the City (1990) and the May 1991 City Ordinance changing the status of Long Hollow from an Open Space (OS) to a Conservation District (CO) that the City has always viewed the area as a conservation district as a matter of law.
Slide 4
  Slide 5
 Slide 6

Slide 7
In January 2015, the City of Pensacola received a design study from the globally recognized Atkins firm.  The first proposal to address the 25-year and 100-year flood events was Alternative One which would significantly increase the conveyance pipes north and south of Long Hollow Storm Water Pond.  On page 5 of the Atkins study the design firm observed, "From a flood control perspective, the Long Hollow Pond makes a significant contribution but is no longer large enough relative to the contributing area to provide enough storage capacity to attenuate the upstream flows at an elevation sufficiently below the intersection to avoid flooding during even a 5 year event."  A five-year event has a twenty percent chance of occurring in any given year.  Not a comforting thought.
Slide 8

This slide depicts Alternative Two which costs around $2 million less than Alternative One which was estimated at just over $59 million.  This alternative involves expanding the existing pond northward, which would remove the radio tower, and building four dry ponds south of the existing Long Hollow Pond.  These dry ponds would fill up water and transfer the stormwater into the I-110 drainage system.

Slide 13 above shows the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond flooded in May 2015 and again in October 2015.  On August 31, 2014, Gene Church requested an extension to his existing FAA construction permit on the grounds that "substantial flooding in Pensacola caused damage to the tower site and held back construction efforts."  He did not disclose what damage had been done to the site.

Slide 14
This section covers all the relevant City Ordinances governing the purpose of a Conservation District, what is not permitted in a Conservation District, and what authority the City Council and the Zoning Board of Adjustment have regarding putting non-conforming structures into a Conservation District.  And, the City has an ordinance governing existing "non-conforming" structures.

Bottom Line:  A Conservation District is to prevent flooding.  Communication towers are prohibited from being located in a Conservation District.  The City Council cannot authorize building a communications tower in a Conservation District.  The Zoning Board cannot provide a variance where a structure is prohibited.  Existing non-conforming structures--which the OLD 250-foot tower was--can be maintained but cannot be expanded to increase their non-conformity.  In other words, Gene Church could maintain his OLD 250-foot tower but could not--by law--build a NEW 400-foot tower.

Slide 15
Slide 16

What makes Slide 16 even more interesting is an email from Brandi Deese, a city worker in the Planning Services Division (PSD) to her boss, Sherry Morris, head of the PSD.  Dated May 18, 2015, Deese informed Morris:  "Eric [Olson, the City Administrator] just stopped by looking for you and wanted me to check with you and see if you had a copy of the final lease agreement for Divine Word Communications Radio Tower?....They are trying to determine if the lease allowed for co-locations."  Morris responded, "Planning was never involved in that, and I don't know who was."

For the record, there is no "co-location" clause in the General Lease Agreement.  Moreover, it does not matter.  City ordinances determine what can and cannot be located in a Conservation District.  And a new communications tower is not authorized.

This does not mean that Morris did not know about Divine Word Radio's tower.  She did know about the tower in October 2011 (more later).  But, the Planning Services Division that she heads is responsible for the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and implementing the City's Comprehensive Plan.

In other words, the Mayor, the City Administrator, and the City Attorney had completed cut the one city department out of the loop that had the legal authority to block the new tower.  Would the Mayor, the City Administrator, and the then City Attorney like to explain how their "black box" actually operated in 2011 and 2012 in terms of keeping the Planning Services Division out of the loop?

The final copy (August 24, 2012) of the approved General Lease Agreement between the City of Pensacola and Divine Word Radio is here.

Slide 17

 Slide 18

 Slide 19
Here is where everything gets interesting and the Mayor's "black box" is revealed for the first time.
Gene Church wrote to Elisabeth Buswell in the Mayor's office on October 27, 2011, telling her that the Mayor has arranged to have the City's land where Gene Church has an OLD tower and wants to build a NEW tower surveyed for a sale to Gene Church.  Church tells Buswell that he understands that his OLD tower is a "non-conforming" structure in a Conservation District where communication towers are prohibited.

In fact, on May 3, 2012, after an apparent search for the boundary survey, Olson sent an email to Church providing him the boundary survey.  Interestingly, or tellingly, that survey is not dated and is not signed.
Church then proposed that the "City would amend its zoning ordinance to clarify that towers in existence prior to the establishment of the zoning regulations...would be exempt from this regulation."
Church continued, "we will need to spend money on upgrading the tower to meet current hurricane wind resistance standards..."  We know that statement is false because in May 2011 Church had already applied to the FAA to build a NEW 400-foot tower and in August 2011 the FAA had granted him a construction permit for a 400-foot tower.
Church's letter, read by somebody not in the know, appears innocent.  But it is not.  Church already stated in the letter that his OLD tower was grandfathered into the pond ("non-conforming use").  So, the real purpose of this letter in having the City change its ordinance regarding towers in a Conservation District is related to his NEW 400-foot tower that no one in City government may have known about.  Any other reading of Church's letter is nonsensical.
Slide 20
After Church's letter was forwarded to City Administrator Bill Reynolds six minutes later by Buswell, the next day Reynolds sent an email to Al Garza, then head of Public Works for action, and then City Attorney Jim Messer and the aforementioned Sherry Morris, head of Planning Services.  Reynolds wanted Garza to give him "a status on this."

Garza is the only standup guy in the City.  He replied on 31 October 2011 that "we need to eliminate this liability" and the tower's (OLD) continued existence prevents the City from expanding the City's front line of defense against flooding, namely Long Hollow Pond.

Garza was on solid ground in claiming that the radio tower prevented expansion of the stormwater water.  A careful reading between the lines of the June 2004 Long Hollow Stormwater Basin Evaluation report prepared by Baskerville-Donovan under contract to the City came to the same point (see pages 3 and 7).

A July 2005 evaluation of the I-10 bridge replacement and its effects on water drainage by Professional Engineer Cliff Street noted (see page 2) that the City during negotiations with the Florida Department of Transportation had insisted that the "existing radio tower...not be impacted by any pond renovation" and that the 24,000 feet of "8-gauge copper ground wire...must also remain undisturbed.  This further limits the extent of the captured wet detention volume."

Clearly, the then existing OLD 250-foot tower prevented expansion of the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond.  And, it is equally clear that the Mayor, City Administrator, and City Attorney from October 2011 onward deliberately chose to ignore Al Garza's statement that the existing tower prevented expansion of the stormwater pond; and, these same three individuals chose to cut the head of Planning Services out of the loop.  Morris was not asked to provide a "status on this."  She was merely informed of the question.  Thus, when in 2015 she wrote "Planning was never involved in that..." she is apparently correct.

Slide 21

Five months later, in March 2012, in Exhibit 12 to a Divine Word Communications application for a FM Translator, an exhibit considered by the FCC to be a "material representation," Church told the FCC:  "The city recently approved zoning to permit replacing the WDWR 250 ft tower with a new 400 ft tower."

In the documentary records we requested from the City, we can find no such change to any of the City's ordinances that would make Church's statement true.  Either this is a false statement to the FCC, or the City secretly changed the zoning ordinances in some fashion for Church's new 400-foot tower, or someone in the Mayor's office led him to believe that this had happened when in fact it had not.  We do not know which explanation is the correct one, but based on the documentary record we have received, this statement appears to be false.  Moreover, as of November 6, 2015, when this briefing was being drafted for publication on November 7th, it appears that no one in the City government knows that the tower is actually 400-feet tall.

Slide 22

It is important to note that in the application to the FCC, Gene Church swore that the "true and correct" height of his to-be erected radio tower at the NAD83 coordinates was 122 meters or 400-feet.
Slide 23

On July 15, 2015, Gene Church submitted a Form 302 for the "direct measurement of power" performed by a man named Jeff Baxter for a company named Baxter Communications.  A search of business records in the state of Florida revealed no such company and he apparently was not an officer in a company, nor the registered agent for a company, or a business with a fictitious name.  When I called Baxter to ask him about the work he performed on the tower he had no memory of the tower or the work he had done, except to say that he had repaired some equipment.  He was evasive.  When I began asking him about his company and its lack of business records he immediately hung up and put my phone number to voicemail.  However, the Form 302 contained an exhibit showing the tower at 122 meters and the FM translator at 119 meters.

Slide 24

Slide 24 depicts the timeline for the construction of Gene Church's NEW 400-foot tower according to documents Gene Church filed solely with the FAA.  Of particular note is the period of August 31, 2014, to March 13, 2015.  On August 31, 2014, Church informed the FAA that construction would start on September 3, 2014.  On September 12th, Church informed the FAA that the tower now stood at 186 feet and construction was continuing and would conclude shortly.  On March 13, 2015, 183 days from September 12, 2014, the tower was now 400-feet, its "greatest height."  The entire construction period, starting on September 3, 2014, lasted 192 days.  And there was not one single day in which Bill Weeks inquired as to who was doing all this work.

All of the indisputable data used to construct Slide 24 can be found here:

Slide 25
This section of the briefing covers all of the original and modification drawings produced by Gene Church's engineer of record, Leo L. Roberts, Professional Engineer, based in Oklahoma.  Roberts refused to answer questions about the radio tower to include a very simple question:  From whom did Gene Church buy the used tower?  Even that question was too controversial for Roberts to answer.

At no time has Roberts produced an engineering drawing for a 400-foot tower.  All of his drawings and calculations are for a 350-foot tower.  Thus, not only did Gene Church mislead his professional engineer, but the tower as constructed has no valid engineering drawings, and therefore no valid approval from the City, and no valid permits.  The tower, therefore, is both ILLEGAL and UNSAFE.

Slide 26
Leo Roberts submitted to Gene Church on January 7, 2014, a "Tower Design" for a 350-foot tower with six guy wires attached to the tower 61, 121, 181, 241, 291, and 341 feet (drawing EFL0114A).  The anchor point of the guy wires stretches out 210 feet from the center of the tower.  The 350-foot "Tower Design" was completed 884 days after the FAA issued the No Hazard study on August 8, 2011.  Gene Church certainly had plenty of time to consider how tall the tower he wanted constructed and plenty of time to inform his Professional Engineer of the correct tower height ("greatest height") he had told both the FAA and the FCC.

Slide 27
On the same date, Roberts submitted a "Foundation Design," drawing EFL0114F1 that provided drawings for tower base and three anchor bases for the guywires.  The tower base foundation was a massive 16 feet x 16 feet by 2 feet of steel reinforced concrete platform that would consume 21 cubic yards of cement and 36 steel bars, 17 feet and 6 inches in length, of Grade 60 steel #6 bars.  This foundation was to be six feet underground with four feet of dirt on top.  The five-foot tall steel-reinforced concrete tower upon which the radio tower rose would only visible for one foot above the ground.  The concrete tower contained 12 #8 vertical bars.

The three anchor bases which stabilized the tower in a hurricane were also massive, measuring 6 feet x 18 feet x 3.5 feet of steel reinforced concrete.  Each anchor base would require 14 cubic yards of cement as well as 13 #6 Grade 60 steel bars 23.5 feet in length.  The base of each anchor was to sit 8 feet underground and be covered by 4.5 feet of dirt.

As we shall demonstrate conclusively using City and Roberts documents, none of this was constructed according to Roberts' engineering specifications.

Slide 28

This February 2015 photograph suggests that the actual tower foundation's bottom is not 6 feet underground but very near the surface.  Thus, it is not deep enough.
Slide 29

This February 2015 photograph shows 3 guy wires indicating, according to the Roberts' drawing, that the tower is at least 181-feet tall.  There is also some structure above the guy wire indicating that the tower is just under 241-feet tall.
Slide 30
This photograph was taken by the Pensacola News Journal and published on February 3, 2015.  The three guy wires are visible and there is more structure above the guy wires.  This is independent evidence that tower probably stood just under 241-feet on February 3.  Thirty-eight days later the tower would be 400-feet tall--despite the fact that the City's Inspection Services chief had issued a Stop-Word-Order that day, and the day before the contractor of record had withdrawn the permit to construct the tower which he had not constructed in the first place.

Slide 31
On March 12, 2015, Leo Roberts wrote to Gene Church and informed him that he was not pleased with the construction work that had been performed based on "information, inspections, and photographs" he had received from Pensacola.  Roberts recommended that Church immediately have the work inspected by a company that Roberts would designate.  While the tower base was "acceptable," the three anchor foundations "are not deep enough."  To remedy this construction failure, Roberts recommended the construction of three berms.  These berms were "imperative," meaning crucial.  In other words, without the berms the tower was UNSAFE.
But, notice the date--March 12, 2015.  On the very next day, March 13, Gene Church would file a document with the FAA declaring that the tower was now 400-feet, its "greatest height."  Roberts, Church's Professional Engineer, apparently had no idea that the tower had already been fully erected and therefore the three inspections he recommended Church undertake, including one immediately, were for naught.  Church and his unknown contractors were their own professional engineers.

And, as we shall see in the next section, Bill Weeks was still suffering from the Jedi induced amnesia, "That is not the tower you are looking for."

Slide 32
On March 11, 2015, Roberts produced EFL0315F-MOD, modifications to the three anchor foundations.  Roberts's drawing depicted the three anchor bases between 2.5 and 3.0 feet beneath the earth, not the required 4.5 feet beneath the earth.  Roberts required three earthen berms be constructed measuring just under 23 feet long and just over 11 feet wide and between 1 foot and 2 feet thick.
Slide 33

This photograph was taken on July 25, 2015--135 days after the FAA was notified that the tower was 400-feet tall.  When we began the briefing we were unaware that there further modifications replacing the concept of the berms.  Thus, we lined out our original finding.
On April 8, 2015, Roberts produced drawing EFL0415F-MOD, the "Anchor Foundation Modification."  This modification called for a steel reinforced concrete platform measuring 10 feet x 22 feet x 1.5 feet be placed directly on top of the too shallow anchor bases.  These new anchor bases would each require 12 cubic yards of concrete and would also require 6 #4 bars 21.5 feet in length and 12 #4 bars 9.5 feet long.  It is important to note that Roberts's modified drawing showed the lower anchor base, the one originally installed too shallow, as having been installed according to the original design.

Roberts made a serious mistake in his drawing.

On April 10, 2015, Bill Weeks sent an email to Michael Ritz, the architect (not professional engineer) for Gulf Coast Building Contractors giving him new instructions regarding these three modified anchor bases.  Weeks wrote, "Since [neither] Mr. Roberts nor anyone in Inspections Services saw the depth of the excavation or the placement of the rebar, or the size and spacing and tying of the rebar, the design must show that it is a block of concrete with undetermined rebar size and spacing."

In others, the modified design by Roberts had to show that the original anchor bases were essentially just a slab of concrete with unknown rebar size and spacing and quality of work.

But, Roberts' modified drawing does not show that.  Drawing EFL0415F-MOD shows the rebar all evenly spaced as he had originally drawn in the January 2014, drawing EFL0114F1.  Thus, the modification that Gulf Coast Building Contractors was seen installing on July 25, 2015, does not appear to meet Weeks' objection and directive in his April 10, 2015, letter to Ritz.

Slide 34
While Roberts originally stated on March 12, 2015, that the "base pier" directly under the radio tower was acceptable, that was no longer the case.  On March 21, 2015, eight days after the tower was already 400-feet in height, Roberts produced EFL0315F2, a "Base Foundation Modification."

Directly on top of the original base foundation, Roberts now called for another 14 feet x 14 feet x 15 inches steel reinforced concrete pad.  This new foundation required 10 cubic yards of concrete along with 24 #5 Grade 60 steel bars.  And, the concrete pier was also modified.  While the original pier was four feet in diameter, the new pier was six feet in diameter and required 16 #5 Grade 60 steel bars for what Roberts called the "new pier."  Again, Roberts depicted this steel reinforced concrete pier protruding only one foot above the earth.

And, in description box, Roberts noted that it was for a "350' Guyed Tower."  Thus, eight days after the tower was 400 feet tall, Roberts was still designing a new base foundation and a new pier for a 350-foot tower.  Even the April 8, 2015, modified drawing for the anchor bases stated that it was for a "350' Guyed Tower."

In other words, at no time has Leo L. Roberts, Professional Engineer, designed for Gene Church a radio tower, its base foundation, or its three anchor foundations for a 400-foot tower.  Thus, at no time can the City demonstrate that it has reviewed and approved plans and issued permits for the construction of a 400-foot radio tower.  Moreover, since these facts are indisputable, the August 7, 2015, pass of a final inspection by the City is a fatal mistake by the City.  A radio tower cannot pass a final inspection for which there are no plans and no permits.

Slide 35

Slide 36
We have demonstrated conclusively that the FAA and FCC approved the construction of a 400-foot radio tower.  It is indisputable fact the tower was 400-feet in height by March 13, 2015.  We have demonstrated conclusively that Leo L. Roberts, Professional Engineer, produced engineering drawings between January 7, 2014, and April 8, 2015, for a 350-foot radio tower.

We now turn to what the City reviewed, approved, and issued permits between January 2014 and October 2015.

Slide 36
 Slide 37

On February 3, 2015, having been informed the day previous by George Biggs that work was underway at the tower that his company had no knowledge of--thus, Gene Church and his unknown contractor(s) had misappropriated the Biggs permit--Bill Weeks wrote to Gene Church.

This letter must be into context.  To the unaware reader, Bill Weeks pretends that what has happened has just occurred.  Weeks tells Church, "it has come to our attention that work was performed without the required inspections."  Of course, he has the Biggs letter dated February 2, 2015, to make the charade believable.  But, we are not the unaware reader.  Five months earlier the tower stood 186-feet tall on September 12, 2014.  The base and anchor foundations had already been poured without inspections.  Five months later Weeks has just noticed a tower in a City-owned pond?

Weeks wrote that the contractor of record, the holder of the two permits to actually build a new 350-foot tower had quit and Church needed to hire a new contractor.

Weeks issued a direct order to Church:  "stop all work...[until] issues are rectified."  The issue is that the "foundations that were poured without inspections must be removed."  In simple language it means take the tower down and remove all the concrete and start completely over.  This is the Stop-Work-Order letter.

In fact, Weeks on March 12, 2015, told the City Council, "Remedially, they will have to remove the entire foundation and start over" (4:26--5:11 on video).  Weeks, in a display of either unprofessional preparedness or brazenness, also told the City Council, "They've already assembled approximately 100 feet of the tower which will have to be removed to remove the foundation.  But yes, they would be issued another permit to continue work, if they were to do it correctly," according to the Penascola City Council video (Item 27) of the meeting.

Keep in mind that the very next day Gene Church filed a sworn to be true statement with the FAA that the tower was now at its "greatest height" of 400-feet.  How can Weeks explain the discrepancy between a 100-feet of tower and a 400-feet of tower?  But, more importantly, how does Weeks explain that 38 days after the Stop-Work-Order when the tower was between 186-feet and 240-feet that they tower was now 400-feet?  Moreover, there was no valid permit for the construction, no contractor of record, and no certificates of insurance on file with the City.
Slide 38
On March 26, 2015, Bill Weeks wrote to Michael Ritz, architect (not engineer) at Gulf Coast Building Contractors.  Weeks explained that the three berms that Leo Roberts had designed were not allowed to be installed because they would reduce the stormwater capacity of the pond.  Gulf Coast Building Contractors, who did not yet have a permit issued by the City, was instructed that "all concrete that was poured, must be removed."  That never happened. 

The previous day (March 25, 2015), apparently in response to Roberts drawing EFL0315F2 for the "Base Foundation Modification" discussed previously, Weeks wrote:  "Since the pad for the base foundation was not inspected for depth, rebar size, rebar placement, or tying, and no photographs for the excavation seem to exist.  Is it the engineers [sic] opinion that the 'existing pad' must be considered as nothing other than a 2 foot by 16 foot square block of concrete without rebar installed?....Please provide a statement to that effect along with all calculations used to determine it will meet all of requirements of the Florida Building Code so that they may be reviewed" [emphasis added].

As previously discussed, the Roberts modified drawing for the base foundation or "existing pier" showed the rebar exactly as Roberts had drawn in January 2014.

As previously discussed, the Roberts modified drawing for the anchor foundations were also drawn showing what was illegally installed conforming to the original drawings.  On April 10, 2015, Weeks wrote to Michael Ritz at Gulf Coast Building Contractors, "Please have it designed to accommodate this ["undetermined rebar size and spacing"] or construct it as originally designed."  This was not done.

And, as previously discussed, on November 4, 2015, Weeks re-sent the March 25, 2015, letter changing only the date and putting it in the misleading date (November 6, 2015), when Nichols and I received that email on November 4th.

In other words, for 225 days, between March 25 and November 4, 2015, Weeks has been waiting for a "statement" and "calculations" from the engineer of record, Leo L. Roberts, through the contractor of record, Gulf Coast Building Contractors, showing that what was designed and installed "will meet all of requirements of the Florida Building Code so that they may be reviewed."

Is that not bureaucratic language for UNSAFE?

Slide 39

Slide 40
This penultimate section combines the FAA timeline, which is based on sworn to be true statements submitted by Gene Church, and the City of Pensacola's timeline based on documents disclosed by public records requests by the North Hill Preservation Association.  This section conclusively demonstrates that what the City approved and what Gene Church constructed--using unknown contractors and still undisclosed to the City and the public.  The 400-foot tower is both ILLEGAL and UNSAFE.
Slide 41
Clearly, the most fundamental and important difference between what the FAA knew in 2011 and what the City knew in 2014 is that Gene Church had applied to the FAA to build a 400-foot radio tower and Gene Church had applied to the City to build a 350-foot radio tower.  If that does not demonstrate willful and deliberate deceptive behavior by Gene Church, then nothing will you convince you.
This 2011-2014 timeline is based upon the following FAA and City documents:

Slide 42
The actual video can be watched on YouTube here.

This video was taken from Divine Word Radio's Facebook page.  The video posted September 24, 2014.  On the Facebook page, DWR stated that 120 feet of the OLD tower remained.  There is no record for a demolition permit, as previously noted.

Keep in mind that when on October 27, 2011, Gene Church told the City that he had a "non-conforming" structure in a Conservation District, he was writing about the OLD 250-foot tower.  When he destroyed that OLD 250-foot tower, his claim to having a "pre-existing non-conforming" structure terminated.  At that very instant, all the City ordinances prohibiting the construction of a new communication tower in a Conservation District and the inability of the City Council or the Zoning Board of Adjustment to grant an exception or variance came into play.

Notice also the framing of this video.  The camera tries to keep the OLD tower on extreme left side of the frame.  Why?  Because we know for fact certain from an FAA filing that 12 days prior to this destruction the NEW tower stood at 186-feet and construction continued.

Why did Gene Church need to keep the existence of the new tower secret or at least away from curious eyes on Facebook?  Because his contractor of record, George Biggs, was not doing the work.  The City has never required Gene Church to divulge who did this work.

Slide 43

Slide 43 depicts the timeline in 2015 primarily based on City documents and one FAA document, the key 2015 03 13 document declaring that the tower is at its "greatest height" of 400-feet.  Now, the tower could have been 400-feet as early as March 9, but for this analysis we assume Gene Church filed this document on the very day that the tower was at its "greatest height."  This is ground truth, if you will.  Anyone who claims the tower is not 400-feet or was fully erect on a different date is simply not credible and do not know what they are talking about.
There are two other key points that will be discussed shortly.
One, between February 3, 2015, and March 18, 2015, the tower rose from between 186-feet and 240-feet to its full height of 400-feet, despite the Stop-Work-Order.
Two, Gene Church swore in a document filed with the Escambia County Clerk of the Court that all worked stopped on January 29, 2015, which is four days before George Biggs, the contractor of record with the only valid permit, informed Bill Weeks that unauthorized work was being performed on the tower.
And three, in the same sworn deposition Gene Church claimed that though he paid all the contractors in full, there were no contractors to pay.  In other words, Gene Church wants the City and its residents to believe that a 400-foot tower was completed and Church does not know who did it and he did not pay for it--but he is the sole beneficiary of the magic erection.  Only in an alternative reality where Gene Church gets to make up his own facts can that be a true statement.
Slide 43 is based upon the following documents, some of which we be used in later slides:

Slide 44
On March 18, 2015, Gene Church filed a Notice of Commencement with the Escambia County Clerk of the Court.  In a sworn deposition he gave to his contractor, Michael Ritz, he claimed that "all construction...ceased...on January 29, 2015."

This is not a true statement because on March 13, 2015, and March 16, 2015, he told the FAA and the FCC, respectively, that the tower was 400-feet.  There is no documentary or imagery evidence showing that the tower was 400-feet on January 29, 2015.  Had it been so, Gene Church would have had to file documentation with the FAA and the FCC stating that was the case.  So, this sworn deposition is a false statement.

On January 28, 2015, RCC Consultants, a company under contract with the City of Pensacola to handle tower management, informed the City that they had observed Divine Word Communications installing an equipment shelter that gives Divine Word Radio's tower "a considerably larger footprint."

Again, while RCC's language of a "considerably larger footprint" again demonstrates that the NEW tower violates the City ordinance that does not allow for a "non-conforming" structure to enlarge its non-conformity.  But, in this case, the NEW tower is not authorized in the Conservation District, period.

Slide 45
In the same sworn deposition, Gene Church declared that "all lienors" and "any and all parties which have provided services, materials and/or labor to the property have been paid in full."  In Exhibits A and B, which are handwritten, next to "direct contracts" is written "no current direct contracts."

This is misleading.  The sworn statement was that everybody who provided "services, materials and/or labor...have been paid in full."  That handwritten statement says nothing about who was paid to provide "services, materials and/or labor."

In other words, Gene Church's sworn statement is that he paid no one to complete the magical erection of a 400-foot tower, which, by the way, all work had supposedly stopped on January 29, 2015.  The declarations to the FAA and the FCC and this sworn deposition filed with the Escambia County Clerk of the Court cannot all be true.  One of these statements has to be false and that false statement is the sworn deposition filed with the Court.  And he filed this false statement just days after telling the FAA and the FCC that tower had been completed and stood at 400-feet.  The cojones and chutzpah of Church are amazing.

Slide 46

Slide 47

Bill Caplinger, a member of the Nichols research team, provided this analysis of the tower that was designed and the tower that was constructed based on meticulous photographic evidence.

On the right, is the 350-foot tower that Leo L. Roberts designed and the City twice approved and issued permits to construct.  The guy wires are attached to the tower at 61, 121, 181, 241, 291, and 341 feet.

On the left, is the 400-foot radio tower that Gene Church built without having submitted an engineering analysis, without the City approving, without the City issuing a permit for construction, and without liability insurance.

The guy wires are attached to the tower 55, 115, 170, 240, 315, and 380 feet.  
On August 7, 2015, the City inspected and passed the tower.

How is that possible?  Did Gene Church once again use the Jedi mind trick, "That is not the tower you are looking for"?

Bill Weeks and his Inspection Services department have absolutely no credibility regarding this radio tower.

Slide 47 demonstrates, in addition to all the other documentary evidence in previous sections, that the Divine Word Radio tower is both ILLEGAL and UNSAFE.

But, things are about to get even curiouser when the issue of the equipment shelter is examined.

Slide 48

The issue of the equipment shelter is very curious.  On August 19, 2014, McElhaney Electric applied for and paid for permit 14-08-0327.  Clearly marked is the block for "new service."  Somewhat confusingly, there is also a handwritten statement, "Service only for existing modular radio tower control building."  The actual permit was not issued until October 6, 2015.

The only problem is that the "existing modular radio tower control building" did not exist in August 2014.  That equipment shelter would first be seen on January 28, 2015, would be photographed in February 2015 and would be finished by March 2015.

So, who is the contractor that installed the concrete foundation for the equipment shelter and who was the electrical contractor that did the installation that McElhaney Electric had applied for?

It would appear that there is a pattern with Gene Church and his contractors.  He hires well known, reputable, professional firms above suspicion like Biggs Green Construction and McElhaney Electric; they apply for and pay for permits; and then Gene Church employs some fly-by-night contractor to actually do the work.
Slide 49
Slide 50
Slide 51
Slide 52
We believe that all the documentary evidence presented in sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 substantiate that Divine Word Radio's NEW 400-foot radio tower constructed in a Conservation District where communication towers are prohibited is ILLEGAL.

Furthermore, the documentary evidence, specifically sworn to be true statements submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011 demonstrate that Gene Church intended to construct a 400-foot radio tower.  The design drawings he requested from the professional engineering firm of Leo L. Roberts was for a 350-foot tower.  Twice his contractor of record, George Biggs, submitted the engineering drawings of Leo Roberts to the City and twice these engineering plans were approved and permits were issued.  This may constitute fraud.

Furthermore, the contractor of record, Biggs Green Construction, the holder of the only valid permits to construct a 350-foot tower never did any of this work.  Gene Church used the permits George Biggs had paid for and staked his professional reputation on and hired an unknown firm that erects radio towers.  This may constitute fraud.

Furthermore, McElhaney Electric applied for a permit to service an existing equipment shelter and Gene Church hired an unknown electrical contractor to install the equipment shelter without a permit.  This may constitute fraud.
And, he hired an unknown contractor to install the foundation upon which the equipment shelter rests.  This foundation has no engineering drawing, no City approval, no City permit, and no City inspections.  Why?

We believe the evidence presented in this briefing is compelling and leads to the conclusion that the 400-foot radio tower constructed by Gene Church without engineering plans, without City approval, without City permits, and without City inspections is ILLEGAL.
Slide 53
We believe the evidence presented in this briefing is compelling and leads to the conclusion that the 400-foot tower that was erected by Gene Church is UNSAFE.

Gene Church submitted plans for a 350-foot radio tower.  Those plans were twice approved by the City.  Gene Church built a 400-foot radio tower.  There are no engineering drawings for a 400-foot tower; the City never approved engineering plans for a 400-foot tower; the City never issued permits to erect a 400-foot tower; and, despite the fact that the City inspected and passed the tower, they did so in error.  A 400-foot radio tower could not possibly have passed an inspection for a 350-foot radio tower.

Furthermore, even if the erected tower had been 350-feet, the tower would still be UNSAFE.

Neither the base foundation immediately under the radio tower, the concrete pier upon which the radio tower is erected, nor the three anchor bases for the guy wires were constructed to the original engineering specifications submitted to and approved by the City.

Moreover, at no time between March 25, 2015, and November 4, 2015, a period of 225 days, has Leo L. Roberts submitted a statement and calculations, as twice requested by the City, demonstrating that what was designed and installed would meet Florida Building Code standards.

Therefore, we conclude that the existing NEW 400-foot radio tower has been constructed in an UNSAFE manner.  And, since Divine Word Radio apparently has no liability insurance for his ILLEGAL and UNSAFE radio tower, it is the taxpayers of Pensacola who are at risk--not only to lose their lives and property--but to pay for the damages.

Slide 54
Consequently, the North Hill Preservation Association and the Long Hollow Neighborhood Association demand that the Pensacola City Council terminate the General Lease Agreement with Divine Word Radio, Inc.

They demand that both towers be removed, including the 24,000 feet of 8-gauge copper wire buried eight-feet underground that is linked to the old 250-foot radio tower.

They demand that the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond be restored as a Conservation District as specified by City ordinances and the city's Comprehensive Plan.

Finally, they demand that the Long Hollow Stormwater Pond be dredged to remove the accumulated silt and that the stormwater pond be expanded and deepened northward where the towers once stood.

Slide 55
This briefing has provided documentary and imagery evidence unlocking one "black box," namely, the document and information flow between Gene Church and the FAA, the FCC, the Mayor's office, and the city's Inspection Services.  But, there are many questions that need to be answered by a future investigation by the City Council, or the Pensacola Police Department, or the State Attorney's office.

Essential Elements of Information is a military term of art.  It means information that must be collected and analyzed in order for an operation to be successful.  It is not "nice to know" information.

Answering these questions would unlock other "black boxes," to wit, the relationship between Mayor Hayward and Gene Church; what the Mayor, City Attorney, and City Administrator were doing between October 2011 and May 2012 to secure a General Lease Agreement between the City and Divine Word Radio; and, most importantly, the relationship and flow of money between Divine Word Radio and unknown contractors ILLEGALLY erected a 400-foot radio tower in an UNSAFE manner.