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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-02-08 11:36 PM
Original message
Florida DCF official charged with production of child porn.
And he was also charged with distributing it. I knew the Department of Children and Families was terribly mismanaged since so much of it is privatized....but this stunned me. He was charged with protecting the children.

Florida Official Charged With Producing and Distrubuting Child Porn; More Charges Could Follow

TAMPA, Fla. A Department of Children & Families press secretary who was arrested on suspicion of enlisting children to make pornography could face more charges, police said Saturday. Al Zimmerman, 40, was released from a Tampa jail after posting $120,000 bail Saturday afternoon, a day after his arrest on eight felony charges of using a child in a sexual performance.

Zimmerman worked for DCF the state agency charged with protecting Florida's children for about two years. He was fired Friday after top officials learned of accusations against him. According to an arrest report, Zimmerman offered two teens money in exchange for photographing them in sexual acts. The victims were ages 16 and 17 at the time of the crime, and at least one may have been in the care of DCF at one point, according to the report.

Authorities believe some of the images date back to December 2005, the arrest report showed. Zimmerman is suspected of taking photos as recently as Friday, the report showed.


There has been a long history of abuse and poor management in Florida's DCF system. I thought when a Democrat, Bob Butterworth took control, that things would change. But events have happened under his leadership also.

We consider it to be a betrayal of the trust in this department and the people we serve," DCF Secretary Bob Butterworth told The Associated Press on Friday. "I do not tolerate this. The integrity of this department cannot be compromised by the actions of one individual."


Here are more about the problems that have occurred at the DCF

This is Rilya Wilson. She went missing in January 2001.



Rilya, who was born to a cocaine addict whose parental rights were terminated when Rilya was an infant, went missing in January 2001. Ms. Graham has said that a representative of the Florida Department of Children and Families took the girl away from her Miami home that month, a claim the agency denies. The agency has said it failed to notice Rilya's disappearance for 15 months because a caseworker lied about visiting her home.

Also at the link is a report about another missing girl, a 15 year old.

And now a porn producer as the press secretary.


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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-02-08 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. Florida's DCF under Republican leadership has turned to sh*t. nt
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-02-08 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. I guess it's no surprise that often people who do this sort of thing...
are drawn to occupations where they can have regular contact with children. It also seems ironic that many of them play the part of children's advocates (e.g. Mark Foley) when really they are just interested in exploitation.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I get what you are saying.
But why do so many of those who are caught at this turn out to be Republicans? That's the surprising part. Actually, it's not surprising but it is disgusting.

Shouldn't Republicans who want to have contact with children be scrutinized extra carefully? Or would that be "political profiling"?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. OMG...look at this guy's past record. DCF officials squirming.
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 12:15 AM by madfloridian
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/feb/03/me-spokesmans-a... /

"According to an arrest report, Zimmerman offered to pay two teen boys to take photos of themselves masturbating. One boy lives in Hillsborough County and the other lives in Orange County, the report said.

..."In December 2006, Gov.-elect Charlie Crist named Butterworth as DCF's fourth leader in six years to fix an agency that had been under fire for failing to protect children and adults. Before taking on the post, Butterworth spent four terms as attorney general.

When Zimmerman sent an inquiry letter in 2005 about a job with DCF, he listed Crist - then attorney general - as a reference.

Butterworth has asked for a review of the agency's hiring policies, specifically in relation to background checks, he said.

Butterworth said he was disturbed by the lack of some information in Zimmerman's personnel file. It does not contain an application for employment or a fingerprint card.

In addition, DCF learned of Zimmerman's criminal record only a few days ago, Butterworth said.

In 2003, Tampa police arrested him on charges of writing bad checks, according to court records. The charges were dropped after he paid $433.59 in fines.

In 1998, Zimmerman was charged with passing a bad check in Bexar County, Texas, according to a records check. That charge, too, was dismissed.

However, a warrant for his arrest in Texas still exists, Butterworth said.

Texas officials charged him in 2000 with another bad check charge, records show.

In addition, Zimmerman was convicted in Georgia in 1993 of driving under the influence, Butterworth said."

This is totally unbelievable.





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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. DCF seems to be a total mess. They contract out placement in foster homes.
From I read in this article, things are not working that well.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.a...

Very long article, needs to read to see what a wreck things are here.

Just a few snips:


Jim Adams says that is not how the system is to work. "If she didn't have the signature book verifying the case worker came out and saw the child, it's unacceptable. We contract out five of the top child welfare agencies in Jacksonville. All are diligent in what they do, but if one of them dropped the ball on this, then it could seriously impact their contract with us," says Adams.

Lisa's book has only one signature in it for August 24, 2007. By that time, Lisa was housing foster kids for at least four months.


Maybe someone should look at all that contracting out they are doing.

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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. But did you know that the guy's resume had Charlie Crist as a reference!
Just thought you'd be interested....


:wow: :wow: :wow:
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Here's the link to Charlie Crist as a reference.
He made $75,000 a year, personnel records show. The records show he listed Gov. Charlie Crist, then the state attorney general, as a reference. The file also contained his Florida criminal history, which showed an arrest on fraudulent check writing charges.

http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/02/news_pf/Hillsborough /...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I knew he used Crist as a reference. Crist pretended ignorance.
I can't get your link to work.

I had to work with the DCF caseworkers often before I retired as a teacher, and they were great people. They were proud of what they did. Since Jeb took over the whole system has gone downhill.

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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-05-08 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I can't get the link again, but St. Pete Times on Feb. 3rd had this...
A DCF spokeswoman said that one of the two victims may have been in the DCF system. The victims are ages 16 to 17.

Zimmerman's affable, outgoing personality garnered him glowing references from law enforcement officials, including future Gov. Charlie Crist, who was attorney general at the time. And after just a year as a regional DCF spokesman, Zimmerman received a stellar evaluation that got him promoted to the state agency's top media relations post, earning $75,000.

But now the people who thought they knew him question their own instincts.

"I felt betrayed," Butterworth said.

"It just blew my socks off," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley, one of Zimmerman's references for the DCF job. "I was flabbergasted. I thought, 'Well now I can't trust anyone.' Here's a guy who I thought was so nice and friendly, and here it turns out he's a little too friendly."
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. God, Florida DCF
has to be one of the worst-run government agencies in the entire nation.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. no surprises here
Republican = Pedophile

And for any of you right wing bat-shit crazies out there who want to take offense at the above opinion, put down the kid down and back away slowly.
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