New information forwarded to Liberty Dispatch indicates Liberty County Sheriff Henry Patterson continues to lie and cover up what he knew and when he knew it concerning the most infamous FEMA fraud case in county history. Now Patterson could face charges of misleading federal prosecutors in the FEMA case by sending in a letter to the editor to The Cleveland Advocate blaming his lack of action on the incompetence of men working under him- AGAIN.
New information reveals Constable Wheeler and Sheriff’s Deputy Chip Fairchild met with District Attorney Mike Little in ‘November 2008’. They showed him pictures and tag numbers of County Judge Phil Fitzgerald's equipment and FEMA equipment. This information is in direct contradiction with Patterson’s contention that Wheeler and Fairchild had no evidence. Unless Patterson was trying a deceptive Clinton-like parsing of words, he is just bald face lying about there being no evidence at the meeting he attended early in 2009. If he is doing his version of wagging his finger at The Cleveland Advocate and saying he “never had sex with that women, Monica Lewinsky, and then he may be prepared to argue he was saying that Wheeler and Fairchild did not have the evidence with them at that very moment. In that case, some would argue that like Clinton, Patterson’s statement could technically be true because the evidence could have been in the car or elsewhere. Or perhaps he is desperate enough to argue when he told these two men there was no evidence it was because they had only showed evidence to Little. Then he would be asking us all to believe two veteran lawmen did not respond to Patterson’s need for evidence by simply showing him what they already collected. Impossible to believe, but the Patterson’s lies leave him no other choices.
New information also indicates Little told these two lawmen to wait until the new sheriff came in and then they could show him the evidence. Little, a long time Democrat, didn’t want the outgoing defeated Democrat Sheriff (Greg Arthur) to have to deal with such a hot issue. He wanted to toss this hot potato to Patterson - the man who had run as a Democrat and lost and then run again and was now promoted to be “first Republican sheriff in over 100 years.” He figured by deferring to the new sheriff, he had a planted a potential poison pill that might be used later. Little had given Patterson a choice to crucify Fitzgerald and he had washed his hands of the matter. As we all know now, he used a similar tactic when he talked Wes Hinch into joining him in a joint press release to announce both had decided not to go after all of the abuse of FEMA funds Phil Fitzgerald subsequently.
Maybe Little thought that the poison pill he planted may help Democrats when he or his hand-picked replacement- Logan Pickett ran for office in 2012. When the new sheriff refused to pursue the case it pulled Patterson into what appears to be Little’s indoctrination of him into the good ole boy club. How ironic! After Patterson had run as a Democrat for sheriff in 2004 and lost, he went to local Republican activists and vowed if they helped elect him, he would dismantle the good ole boy system of swapping off favors and looking the other way on certain crimes. Now, with him neck deep (along with his best friend Harry Kelly) and under the microscope of the federal investigation of stolen guns from the Cleveland Police Department being sold to a nearby gun dealer – Patterson found himself needing all of the help he could get to simmer down the heat on him.
It is no wonder why Patterson, despite having his “special crimes unit”, has nothing to show in four years to say he has even begun to dismantle the good ole boy system he talked about before he ran in 2008. And adding to the irony, Little decided to keep all of this quiet and let Patterson’s own record of nearly four years of incompetence and poor leadership defeat his bid for re-election. Since DA Mike Little had not used the scandal to poo poo the local Republican Party, Little advised his hand-picked replacement, Logan Pickett, to run Republican.
It is difficult to predict what charges, if any, might be filed against Patterson and Little for their obstruction, hindering and selection prosecution with their deception and lies as the federal case on FEMA fraud in Liberty County continues. But if Patterson’s Outsider friends led by perjurer and convicted criminal Eddie Shauberger continue trying to play up the imperfections and problems of some of the opposition’s messengers, this could get really serious for a sheriff who is likely to be voted out of office in about thirty days. Professional top of the line investigators will not be distracted by the irrelevant election time mudslinging against Patterson’s opponents or clever spin that tries to take their focus off of adding to what they already have.
Patterson and Little should simply tell the truth rather than compound their legal problems. How many times have we witnessed the cover up being the undoing and the source of successful prosecution in these kinds of sorted affairs?