December 14-15, 2022 -- DeSantis's thugocracy and a dead body: Welcome to the Mafia state

publication date: Dec 14, 2022
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December 14-15, 2022 -- DeSantis's thugocracy and a dead body: Welcome to the Mafia state

It should come as no surprise that Florida's neo-fascist mobbed-up governor and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis now has the dead body of a close friend to deal with. In a scene reminiscent of the television series "The Sopranos," the body of 50-year old Kent Stermon, [left] a prominent Jacksonville, Florida political donor to DeSantis, was found in his vehicle on December 8. The vehicle was parked at the Mayport Post Office on Mayport Road in Atlantic Beach. A post office employee leaving work discovered Stermon's body around 8 pm. The Mayport Naval Station is where DeSantis performs much of his Naval Reserve active duty as an officer in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) has claimed foul play is not suspected in Stermon's death, which resulted from a single gunshot wound to the head. However, the JSO has a major conflict-of-interest in investigating the death. It was later revealed by WTLV NBC 4 Jacksonville that Stermon, a private citizen, had a JSO security pass that gave him unfettered access to the JSO's headquarters, five JSO substations, the K9 unit, the JSO Aviation Office, and the Montgomery Correctional Institution. According to the WTLV report, Stermon had swiped his access card 140 times at JSO headquarters since 2017 and 87 times this year, access considered highly unusual for someone who was neither a JSO employee nor a retiree. Stermon is said to have had input on promotions and demotions within the Sheriff's Office. The JSO, which named Stermon "Citizen of the Year" in 2015, reportedly had him under active investigation for unspecified sex crimes in the weeks leading up to his death. Stermon was a close friend and political supporter of current Sheriff
T.K. Waters and his predecessor, Mike Williams. The St. John's County Sheriff's Office had also bestowed the "Citizen of the Year" honorific on Stermon.

Stermon's donations to DeSantis had paid off handsomely for the businessman who served as president of Total Military Management, Inc.. DeSantis had appointed Stermon to the board of the Florida State University System and the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council, as well as chairman of the Governor’s Public Safety Transition Advisory Committee. Stermon was also a political consultant to the Duval County Republican Party.

According to Florida Secretary of State records, Stermon was also a principal or officer of the Florida Board of Governors Foundation in Tallahassee; Worldwide Transport Services, Inc. of Jacksonville and Mission Viejo, California;  Stermon Investments, LLC of Jacksonville; Stermon Holdings, LLC of Jacksonville; Stermon Real Estate Holdings, LLC of Jacksonville; Stermon Aviation LLC of Jacksonville; and TMM Enterprises LLC of Jacksonville. Two directors of Total Military Management, Inc., which is registered in Delaware, maintain offices at 330 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York. The firm is also known as TMMI Logistics, Inc. The firm's stated business involves "third party re-location services" for military members and their families. Stermon was also
a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida.

Stermon was very close politically and financially to DeSantis, to whom he and Matt Connell, another TMM executive, rented a Palm Coast, Flagler County condo during DeSantis's time in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stermon was a major donor to DeSantis's gubernatorial campaigns of 2018 and 2022 and a member of DeSantis's gubernatorial transition team. Stermon, Connell, and a PAC registered to TMM donated some $60,000 to DeSantis's 2012, 2014, and 2016 congressional campaigns and his 2018 gubernatorial race.

Stermon was also close to Jacksonville Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, an individual who has his sights set on higher office in the state. Stermon and Congressman Matt Gaetz were considered members of DeSantis's inner circle of advisers after he was sworn in as governor in 2019. Stermon had also hosted a Jacksonville fundraiser for Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker.

In 1983, another corrupt politician, Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, infamously said,
"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." DeSantis was re-elected with two of his close friends, Stermon and Gaetz, under investigation for sex crimes and one of them is now dead under suspicious circumstances.

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