Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mike DeForest (Gump) tries to ruin a Registrant's life, instead gets to witness the registrant's good fortune

December is usually the time things go quiet here as the annual Shiitake Awards nominees are collated and handed over to our own Shiitake Awards Playoff Selection Committee. But it seems a run of last minute entries look to throw a monkey wrench into our playoff scheme.

Today's entry is Mike DeForest (Gump) from WKMG Local 6 in Orlando, reminding us that stupid is as stupid does.

DeForest ran a sweeps week "Sex Offenders who have jobs and we get one fired" story, which featured a number of Registered Citizens trying to make a living. DeForest bragged about getting one fired. A couple of months later, one of the targets of his first story wins $3 Million from a scratch-off ticket, and DeForest runs a nasty story on the lotto winner.

It seems pretty obvius that DeForest is trying to bring as much bad publicity as possible to a man who asserts his innocence and has kept his nose clean in the near-decade since his release.

In the first story, the lotto winner received only a passing mention:

Despite being a convicted sex predator, ***** is allowed to drive a cab for his family’s taxi business, ****, since there are few regulations governing vehicles-for-hire in Lake County.  “It may be hard for some to believe, but sometimes people are wrongly accused,” said Poole, 43, who insists he poses no risk to his passengers.  In 2002, as part of a plea agreement, Poole pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery against a child.

In the follow-up article, DeForest drags out lengthy details of the man's past:

Convicted sex predator wins $3 million lottery jackpot
Lake County man purchased scratch-off ticket at Mount Dora 7-Eleven

Author: Mike DeForest, Reporter,
Published On: Dec 09 2014 05:46:17 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 10 2014 06:22:04 PM EST

Video: Sexual Predator wins $3M
Show Transcript
A convicted sex predator who served 3 years in prison for a crime involving a young child is now a multi-millionaire. *****  won $3 million on a Florida Lottery scratch-off ticket he purchased at a Mount Dora 7-Eleven store Saturday night.

"He was flabbergasted. He couldn't believe it," said **** , a friend who was with **** when he hit the jackpot. "It was quite a remarkable thing. My heart is still beating."

**** was among the subjects of a recent Local 6 investigation that examined where convicted sex predators are employed.  **** is driver and dispatcher for ***** , a Mount Dora taxi company owned by his mother, records show.   

In 1999, Orange County authorities arrested **** following allegations that he sexually battering a 9-year-old boy.  According to an arrest warrant affidavit, **** was a friend of the victim's family who once lived at their home.  The victim also spent some weekends at ***'s home, according to investigators.


**** denied the allegations, according to the report.

As part of a plea bargain, **** pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery and was sentenced to the 13 months he had already served in jail. The judge also ordered **** to serve 10 years of sex offender probation and register as a sexual predator. A judge can designate someone as a predator if the defendant used physical violence, preyed on children or had repeat violations.

In 2003, a judge revoked **** probation and sent him to prison for 3 years.  According to court records, Poole was kicked out of his mandatory sex offender counseling because he failed to attend 4 group sessions.

**** , who has had no other legal troubles since being released from prison in 2006, insists he is innocent. 

"It may be hard for some to believe, but sometimes people are wrongly accused," **** told Local 6 in November.

"I've known him for years and I've never seen any inclination of anything like that with him," said ****, who believes his friend should enjoy the $3 million lottery jackpot.  "He's a very positive person. Very kind. Giving. I think that's why he won.  It's Christmastime and the dude deserves a break."

*****turned in his winning Super Millions scratch-off ticket at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee on Monday.  Lottery officials said he chose to receive his winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,219,807.90. 

Florida law does not allow the lottery to withhold payments from winners based on their criminal records, according to spokeswoman.  However, before a winner receives a check, Florida Lottery officials conduct a background check using their Social Security number to ensure they do not owe child support or any outstanding debts to a state agency.

**** could not be reached for comment following his lottery win, so it is unclear what he plans to do with his millions.  According to Snyder, **** will be pouring some of that money into his mom's small taxi cab company.

"He's going to invest in the business," said ****. "He's going to expand."

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