"FDLE Casts Wide Net Against Internet Cafes, Unfortunately Snaring FOP President and Vice President
The internet café industry is exploding in Florida and brings with it much controversy along with debate on if and how it should be regulated. Whenever the law is unclear or still evolving in a new industry, there are bound to be casualties along the way as things get sorted.
Ordinances have been passed followed by legal battles in both state and federal courts and even our lawmakers in Tallahassee are unable to agree on what to do. Meanwhile the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is left navigating these murky and unchartered waters as our law makers and the courts figure out how to regulate this evolving multi-million dollar industry.
It has come to the attention of the FOP that FDLE has conducted an investigation of a major internet café operator, Allied Veterans of the World. We have no information that any part of the FDLE investigation has been directed towards the Jacksonville FOP or the Jacksonville FOP Foundation. It is our understanding that among those detained by the FDLE was our Lodge President and First Vice-President, whose involvement is undetermined, but appears to be a result of their personal business relationships with Allied Veterans. Also detained were Jerry Bass, Allied’s national commander, and former Jacksonville Bar Association President Kelly Mathis, who serves as the Allied Veteran’s attorney. It is important to point out that these are private dealings that have nothing to with FOP business and the FOP possesses no information regarding the allegations against either of them. The FOP has by-laws in place to allow for daily operations of the Lodge to continue as usual without interruption."