Meet Deputy Raymond Strobel of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
I promised you I wouldn’t publish his name until I had complete confidence he had abused the authority that he possesses as a police officer working for the LCSO, specifically in regards to the parking ticket he wrote on Green Stone Court in the Stoneybrook community on December 16, 2019.
We can now report that it was Strobel, and that he was totally hellbent on writing a parking ticket that day.
A parking ticket for what offense? I don’t know. Pictured above is the true, actual and complete photo from Strobel’s files showcasing the supposed parking infraction. Can you tell what the parking infraction was?
No? You can’t? Neither can Strobel. I’ll elaborate.
Remember that not only did Strobel sign up to perform that special detail in Stoneybrook on December 16, and that Strobel defied the detail’s orders to de-escalate parking tickets, and that Strobel stated he stalked a vehicle for 20 minutes prior to his detail even beginning, and that Strobel bragged he was being paid “$45/hour” to write parking tickets… but the Gateway Sun has learned that Strobel altered the cited offense and filed the ticket four weeks after the alleged infraction even occurred.
Allow that to sink in for a moment. A parking ticket that was issued on December 16, 2019 had its cited offense changed and then was finally filed with the court on January 13, 2020. Does that sound normal?
January 13, 2020 also happens to be the exact date the Gateway Sun posted our article titled: “LCSO PARKING TICKET IN STONEYBROOK SEEMS TO HAVE VANISHED”.
Quite the coincidence.
Why didn’t I find out before yesterday that the ticket offense was altered… and submitted to the court a highly unusual month after-the-fact? That’s because when the ticket was issued it was assigned case number #19-592139/C3, but on January 13 it was assigned Case #20-CO-000132.
The truth is that I simply didn’t know about the new case number. So it turns out my searches for the old case number were pointless and that’s why I didn’t know any of this sooner than yesterday.
Anyway, let’s get to the altered citation by Strobel.
Strobel initially cited the ticket recipient for a violation of Florida Statute 316.1945(1A1) on December 16. A very specific citation of a specific statute, which says:
(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:
(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.
However … according to the Lee County Court’s reporting system known as Matrix, Strobel amended the December 16 parking ticket on January 13 to assert a different violation cited in Matrix as: UNAUTHORIZED PARKING Statute: CO.91(29) County.
The Matrix system also indicated the recipient was accused of a $32 offense (plus $10 in court costs so $42 total.)
I asked for and was forwarded a copy of the ticket recipient’s Citation Balance Notice which was dated January 23, 2020 and that document only cited 91-29 and the $42 total.
So that’s Strobel’s new and updated infraction.
Done deal, right? After-all, Strobel is a trusted man of the law. But … since you’re reading this in the Sun, you already know there’s more to it.
It turns out that 91-29 actually has nineteen possible offenses associated with that particular ordinance – with 18 out of the 19 being for $32.
And the problem is that Strobel’s newly cited offense doesn’t specify which of the eighteen $32 offenses the ticket was written for. It doesn’t say so on the amended ticket. It doesn’t say so in Matrix. It doesn’t say so on the Citation Balance Notice.
It just cites a general ordinance which has at least 19 possible infractions. When I provided this information to a different law enforcement officer he told me he couldn’t help me with the legality issue of the ticket, because it was improperly (with an ‘M’) written. But now that we have the photo of the vehicle it’s completely fair to ask what the hell the parking ticket was issued for? There’s no visible infraction in the photo and there’s no specific infraction listed on the ticket.
This all makes the January 14 article, where I made the case that the LCSO officer (n/k/a Raymond Strobel) and Gateway District chairperson Margaret Fineberg likely coordinated on the special detail request, and worked together to make sure a Stoneybrook resident was issued a parking ticket to spook the community, even more relevant.
After-all … if the special detail started at noon… and the ticket was issued at 12:08pm … why was the officer staking out a car for 20 minutes before his detail even began and the first thing he did was write a parking ticket when his orders were to look for speeders? And as I reported on January 14 – PROVIDING THE DOCUMENTED PROOF – the detail request was very clear that the officer was to look for ways NOT to write parking tickets, which the officer defied and which I opined on January 14 and again today was at Fineberg’s specific request. And again, why did the cited ticket offense change from a very specific Florida Statute to an unspecific Lee County ordinance which has 19 possible citations but yet none of the 19 are listed on the ticket or in Matrix?
How is an incomplete ticket like that without the actual charge even valid?
Strobel is welcome to email me at email@example.com to put any of these items to rest. I pledge to post his response verbatim, without editing and without comment.
The only good news I can offer at this point is to let you know that Lee County’s legal staff are looking in to this situation in Stoneybrook.
I can further advise you that the Gateway District is planning to put on a sham performance on the street parking topic at either their February 6 or February 20 meeting. As I’ve detailed at length, Gateway’s attorney has shown a clear bias toward favoring whatever Fineberg wants instead of following the law and specifically Florida Statute 316.006(3). So the Supervisors’ solution was to invite a second attorney to give their opinion. Now ordinarily you’d expect them to invite an attorney with a differing viewpoint, but instead they’ve invited Stoneybrook’s HOA lawyer, who I’m willing to bet will side with Fineberg’s wishes as well.
So two lawyers, both siding with Fineberg. That’s what’s presented as fair by the GSCDD?
Obviously it’s not fair. But it will give Vice-Chairman Bill Guy and Supervisor Doug Banks the necessary political cover to either side with the lawyers or punt on the topic yet again which is what inviting Stoneybrook’s lawyer was designed to do. Supervisor Ed Tinkle will do the right thing, whereas Supervisor Kathleen Flaherty wants a street parking ban and will ignore the law as well. That leaves the duo of Guy and Banks to decide the topic.
Ultimately? At the end of the day? I have to point out that I’m not an attorney… but that Gateway meeting won’t even matter. There is no valid agreement under Florida Statute 316.006(3) between the Gateway District and the county to grant jurisdiction over Stoneybrook’s roads so the LCSO can perform traffic enforcement. In my view, paying an LCSO ticket for infractions in Stoneybrook is just wasting your money and your rights under the law.
The LCSO claiming they have jurisdiction over the roads in Stoneybrook is – in my view — a violation itself of Florida law. Jurisdiction matters. The LCSO doesn’t legally have it.
I am preparing my “Decade of Deceit” video where I show you how many people have lied to Stoneybrook residents about the street parking situation. We are going to get to the bottom of all this, together.
Finally, I am also aware of the HOA leadership change in Stoneybrook. The Sun has no comment other than to wish everyone well.
For anyone just reading this wondering what all the fuss is over a parking ticket — the ticket is not the issue. Abuse of authority is. Check out the January 14 article titled “ELECTED GATEWAY OFFICIAL ENGAGES LCSO TO DO HER DIRTY WORK IN STREET PARKING BATTLE” for context.