Discrimination charges put Mascotte P...

Discrimination charges put Mascotte Police Department in turmoil once again

Posted in the Mount Dora Forum

Ben Dover

United States

#1 Jun 30, 2012
Ben Dover

United States

#2 Jun 30, 2012
What is with this Lauren Ritchie attacking local Police Departments? Not long ago she attacked Fruitland Park PD. Now she has attacked Mascotte PD going all they way back to practically the beginning of time.

While Mascotte like others has had their ups and downs the recently retired chief Steve Allen was there for several years with no servious problems or allegations. Why all of a sudden the attack aimed directly against the hispanics? In the past people have always thought here motives were an attempt to bring city leaders to abolish their police departments like Minneola and Montverde has and turn them over to her friend "the sheriff."

With 60% of the population of Mascotte hispanic and sheriff Borders having a long history of racially profiling them and even recently on his Keep Borders Sheriff campaign website he continues to advertise "If you're new to our page, and like our message of reducing the Sheriff's budget without sacrificing safety and the fact that Lake County is one of a few in Florida deporting illegal aliens from our local jail, please share our page on yours to help us increase our "likes" and spread our message!"

Borders has few blacks and hispanics. The ones he has are tokens. Major Gerry Montalvo was fast tracked from Lt. to Major back when Borders was having the Sorrento hispanic problems to prove he was hispanic friendly.

Why is it that Lauren Ritchie can find fault with every police department in Lake County's officers and employee's but she doesn't see anything wrong with the criminals that remain on the pay roll of her friends the sheriff. Many spouse abusers and other crimes such as theft have been committed by her friend "the sheriff" employee's but that is off limits. Like her friends and fellow comminists Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Obama and others her motto is never tell the truth! Always concoct a lie or create some smoke to fog the mirrors. The people are to dumb to know any better.

We wonder if the Mascotte population that she choses to abuse with her nasty tongue and pen on behalf of her friend sheriff Borders realizes that this is probably the first time in years that all the registered Lake County voters of all parties can vote in the sheriff's election on August 14, 2012 to elect them a sheriff who is not biased against people because of their race or sex.

There is only two people running for Lake sheriff this year and one of them will be elected on that date. If you fail to vote you will have no one to blame but yourself. Another four years of Gary Borders who by his actions hates blacks, hispanics and females of any race!


Ocala, FL

#3 Jun 30, 2012

This is one of the officers who claims descrimination. He is truly a fricken criminal...

Ocala, FL

#4 Jun 30, 2012
These people are pissed because the gig is up. The officers who are claiming this crap are low lives. One of these officers resigned before he got fired from Mt. Dora for having alleged sex with a minor, who just so happens to be his wife now. Go to Mt. Dora PD and you can see this for your self. Another officer fired from Plantation PD was fired because of hit and run and hid out in an apartment because he was intoxicated and did not want to be charged with DUI. Another officer claiming discrimination was fired from two restaurants, one for theft and the other for not showing up to work. The lazy ex lt is pissed because he didnt get the Chief's position so then claims stressed out. The only reason he was stressed was because he didnt get the position. To top it off, every time and officer had some kind of illness, the Lt managed to have had that same condition. Too bad he couldnt have a cyst on his ovary. Oh wait, maybe he does considering he has no balls. Talk about racist, half these guys used racial slurs all the time,hmmm seems like the kettle calling the pot black. Lauren Ritchie needs to do her homework before she writes an article, because her journalism skills obviously suck....Oh by the way, the previous Chief was racist and cheated on his wife for 25 years...Just ask about his two hour lunches he use to take while working. Also about the time he would tell his wife he was going to work at 4 am in the morning and his unmarked trail blazer was sitting in his girlfriend's driveway if he couldnt manage to hide it in her garage. The current Chief is not racist and the only thing he did was clean house when he got rid of a bunch of lying, cheating, lazy officers. The past Chief was too involved in his own lies that he didnt do it....Sounds like another Gary Borders.
Sick and Tired

Tavares, FL

#5 Jul 1, 2012
In Chief Banasco’s short tenure he has trimmed the fat at the top eliminating unnecessary high ranking positions, streamlining the organization and increasing the number of actual officers on the road without adding any positions (in fact eliminating a vacant position). He has begun regaining community trust by taking the agency into a more community oriented direction encouraging officers to have more positive interaction with the citizens. In addition to all that the Chief is a “WORKING Chief” patrolling the city, interacting with citizens, helping with investigation and working countless hours night and day (if you calculate his hours worked his officers make more per hour than he does), which is more than could be said for the former chief and the esteemed EX-Lieutenant. To set the record straight Chief Banasco has hired 4 full time officers two Hispanic and two white as well as a part time evidence technician who is black (the first black employee of the Mascotte Police Department) and a part time code enforcement officer who is white. Which by my count is three white, two Hispanic, and one black. If I used Ms. Ritchie’s powers of deduction it would seem that the only group the chief is discriminating against would be the Asians and the American Indians, but they probably did not apply.

Read for yourself I can’t make this stuff up.





Sick and Tired

Tavares, FL

#6 Jul 1, 2012
Ms. Ritchie’s journalistic skills are about equal to that of a high school reporter, and I apologize for offending high school reporters. No one is perfect but it would seem that Ms. Ritchie’s only real source would be these four fine officers that have spotless backgrounds and whose characters are obviously beyond reproach. Or are they? A simple search on a public website will show that two of the four terminated already had negative backgrounds and no doubt a review of their personnel records, had Ms. Ritchie actually done her research, surely would have shown a history of misconduct. A third was a probationary employee with a criminal background who had already received several reprimands. It would seem that the chief is cleaning up years of trash. There is a former Lieutenant who sadly suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, obviously caused by his allergy to working for brown people. Yes he has 35 years in law enforcement with a history of agency jumping and a termination. You have a Sergeant who is a pervert and should have been in prison, not wearing a badge. Please do your homework Ms. Ritchie, Chief Banasco eliminated a group of bigoted cops that were only interested in promoting their own agendas. Talk to the 60% of the population (Hispanic) many of whom felt alienated under the “Old Boy regime” perpetuated by the EX-Lieutenant who "ran" the department.
Talk to this man

United States

#8 Jul 2, 2012
The people of Mascotte need to talk to Sandy Carpenter the man running for sheriff against Borders and see what he thinks about Lauren Ritchies demands that Lake County take over Mascottes fire and law enforcement.

At least he is honest and not racist


United States

#9 Jul 2, 2012
Delta Victor

Deltona, FL

#10 Jul 2, 2012
So let me get this straight....It's okay for un-ethical and immoral officers to still serve the community as long as they are your friends? Have you bothered to look into why they were actually terminated? No, you automatically assumed that because they were white they were terminated...Let me ask you this Mrs. Ritchie? How many officers at Mascotte were any other race then white prior to the new Chief's arrival? Banasco has managed to keep the current budget under control and hire officers that have proven to be quality police officers. In addition to that Chief performs the functions of the command staff that no longer exists because of their lack of ability to perform when they were employees. Not to mention that your boy from Lake County would charge the citizens of Mascotte almost 2 million dollars a year to patrol the assigned area. The next time you want to comment on a small town that has enough going on without your slander, please get your facts straight first.

Casselberry, FL

#11 Jul 2, 2012
Chief Banasco has done an amazing job getting rid of the scum that has tormented the citizens who live in the area. Having family who are actually white that live in the city and they are very happy with the way the Chief is treating the department. Rolando Banasco is the best thing to happen to MPD and the officers fired deserved it and then some. Do the research and look at the people I have the most respect for people who served but not if there complete scum. Look at the person and what they do not the person spreading the slander make up your own mind and the evidence says it all. So dillan and woodworth and eppley you were not good at your job and you should not have ever even been a police officer for anywere. Do everyone a favor and stay away from people in general,
Lauren Ritchie 2nd Part

United States

#12 Jul 2, 2012
It appears the Orlando Sentinel blocked the second part of Lauren Ritchie's brutal attack on Mascotte and it's police department. The story is hard to open or fails to open and will not allow any blogging even on Topix. Perhaps the mis-management at the "Slantinel" had rightfully decided she has lost her mind and gone way over board on this story. If she is concerned about the stress on her and Borders friend Gregg Woodworth they should have simply hired him on at the LCSO. After all she hired Tom Klinker the CEO Finance Director or Borders surely she can hire a common deputh sheriff. Instead she tries to destroy the entire City of Mascotte Police Department.

Mascotte is broke and should dissolve

Lauren Ritchie, COMMENTARY
July 1, 2012 Second of two parts.

Mascotte probably will be keeping its dysfunctional police department for the coming fiscal year that starts in October.
Gee, lucky residents.
After that, the department might be disbanded, but not for the obvious reason.

Friday's column took at look at the turmoil in the department, which has a less-than-stellar reputation in Central Florida law-enforcement circles.

Gregg Woodworth, a well-respected 15-year veteran of the Leesburg Police Department, was coaxed to Mascotte with the promise that he would be the next chief. But that promise vaporized when the city changed managers.

The new city manager chose as chief a fellow with a background in corrections who was a sergeant in the department, below Woodworth's rank of lieutenant. Within five months of Rolando Banasco's appointment, four white officers, including Woodworth, had lost their jobs. He and two of the others have filed federal complaints alleging that the new chief got rid of them to make way for Hispanic hires. Banasco denies it.
Regardless of the allegations, is it possible that four officers who were doing just fine — one was running the department — suddenly turned into such incompetents that they had to be dismissed?

Hardly. What happened is simply the most recent in a series of persuasive arguments for Mascotte to abolish its police department.

Turmoil in police agencies is not good for people who live in the city. The drama gets nutty, and officers aren't widgets. They get to know the population and, if they're successful, they adjust their strategies and tactics to fit the community. It's not cheap to outfit new officers, either, and it takes a while for them to learn the quirks of the community.

Small agencies are typically stuck with the least-qualified officers because pay is poor. It's just the way things are.
Lauren Ritchie 2nd Part

United States

#13 Jul 2, 2012
When the four white guys were dismissed, Mascotte hired two Hispanics, one black and a white officer to replace them. Most are relatively inexperienced. As usual.

Ironically, the city may have to decide this time next year whether to abolish its police department. The reason won't be quality of protection — it will be money.

Mascotte has been the single hardest-hit city in Lake County during the economic downturn. Its property tax rate is the highest, by far, of any municipality —$9.61 for every $1,000 of taxable value. That means the owner of a house valued at $100,000, after exemptions, will pay $961 for city services alone. Wow. The next most expensive city charges $8 for every $1,000 of taxable value, and nearby Clermont is only $3.14.

Mascotte, incorporated in 1926 and named after the SS Mascotte, a ship that ran from Boston to St. Petersburg, has never had it easy financially.

This year, the city made ends meet by selling cell-tower leases on its property and selling its solid-waste equipment to other providers, City Manager Jim Gleason said.

There's enough money in the reserve fund to keep both the police and fire departments, which cost about $1 million each, going in the coming fiscal year, Gleason said.

After that, if the taxable value of property continues to drop in Mascotte, the city will have to start looking for another solution. Raising taxes is not possible because the city is charging the most tax allowed by law.

Mascotte should begin making plans right now to fold.

Consider that the city's tax roll for this year was $112 million and the expected value of the same properties for next year, according to the county's property appraiser, is $92 million. That's a drop of 18 percent in a single year. The high was $219 million in 2007, which means the value of property in Mascotte taken a nosedive in five years.

Mascotte made foolish decisions when the building boom was roaring at full blast, and it is paying now. The city annexed considerable vacant property and OK'd subdivisions full of inexpensive houses. When the bust hit, the value of vacant land dropped by more than other properties, and Mascotte had far more than its share of foreclosures in the cheap subdivisions.

The chance that the property value free-fall will slow significantly is nil. It won't be long before services the city provides residents are equal to what would be available from the county if the city dissolved and became part of unincorporated Lake. When that time comes, what's the point of existing?

It's time to begin talking with residents and the county's fire department and the Sheriff's Office to transition smoothly.

real discrimination

United States

#14 Jul 2, 2012
Joe Hope

Sanford, FL

#15 Jul 2, 2012
  Mr. Dillon or should I call you Mr. Johnson. You, and your three white amigos are pathetic. You have more skeletons in your closet than clothes. Need examples: How about a coworker getting pregnant, but you had nothing to do with it, then why the paternity test? Then there's a another female officer in Fruitland Park who's telling everyone how your well awarded Lt. promised her a job in the city if she would perform sexual favors. How about the other white guys who made minor mistakes? One was fired because he drove home drunk, crashed his truck into some other cars and a even the apartment complex sign. Then went to work the next day and tried to lie about it when called into the office. Lastly the youngest of the white guys was arrested for a traffic misdemeanor and booked in at the Lake County Jail. Or how he couldn't get hired on with another department because he failed the polygraph when he admitted to credit card fraud by over tipping customers. Let's not forget how these last two poor soles had to move in together to make ends meet. This was planned well over a year ago. 
  Mr.Dillon/Johnson you also forget how you tried to "muscle" two citizens in their own business over a video you thought was recorded. Even had the "DUI guy" try to convince them. This caused the citizens to make a complaint, now you want to use them as witnesses again I say, PATHETIC!! 
sentinel reporter arrest

United States

#16 Jul 4, 2012
Here is the recent arrest of Lauren Ritchie's friend and co-worker. Hits a girl on a parking lot and leaves the scene. This is the quality of humans that try to tell us how to live our lives and who should run our police and fire departments while at the same time supporting the corruption of the Lake Sheriff Office and its present leader.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-07-0 ...

That is bad enought but then when he is booked into jail he laughs about it.

https://www.lcso.org/inmates/mugshot_booking_ ...
The Truth about Mascotte

Sanford, FL

#18 Jul 9, 2013
I was just looking at some of the links the other posters link. One of the complaining officers is Rick Dillon, who had was investigated 14 years ago and cleared of charges, one of the others had no issues until he got to Mascotte, and the third is a 34yr veteran who had a non-serious offense 20years ago.

I will concede the fact that Mascotte has had some bad officers, but you can't lump these guys in with your murders, arson, fraud artist and molester that were on the force.

Ocala, FL

#19 Oct 19, 2013
Found this. http://ocalapost.com/chief-rolando-banasco-ra... At least they are objective. I hear they have a reputation for always digging up the truth and never holds back like some of the other papers. Cough.... Orlando Sentinel..haha From my understanding the Editor has a Masters in criminal justice and takes reporting very serious. Rick Dillon is a douche bag and he should locked up.
big twinkie

Lady Lake, FL

#20 Mar 29, 2014
How many of these posts were supplied by the chief? The guy is terrible. He is racists, rude, and is the last cop id ever run from... hes 400lbs and would be the frist cop to shoot you. Fat cops dont do foot chases. God im glad i moved out of there. This guy wil lultimately be let go. He will sue the city get 200k and that will be the end of it. No one will ever hire him for a job like this again. The chief is supposed to set and example. This man shouldnt have ever been a cop. Hes obease. He cannot do the job physically. Hes also quite young. So he cant say hes fat.because hes an old man. A total stereotypical donut eating cop. Lol

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