Samantha Abell

When Samantha Abell became city manager of Gulf Breeze, the rug that covered up these crimes was lifted and she was told about what happened and she was shown the evidence but she swept the citys secret back under the rug and offered the below statement. 

David Szymanski was the assistant city manager of Gulf Breeze at the time who said the swing on the left in the picture had lots of life left to it and I needed to take the video off the internet. David Szymanski apparently was involved in the attempt to cover up what happened in the city playgrounds owned by the city of Gulf Breeze. He's member of the Good Ole Boys Club of Corruption in city government.

The swing accident occurred in Gulf Breeze Florida, a small wealthy island like town in northwest Florida. The city of Gulf Breeze didn't feel safety was a priority within their public parks and playgrounds. This is the story of how Gulf Breeze city management and political leaders in Florida knowingly left dangerous swings hanging in public playgrounds throughout Gulf Breeze so kids and adults would get injured as chains became worn out to the point of breaking. Gulf Breeze city leaders had no playground safety inspection program in place, as a result the accident occurred causing injury to my spine and back which led me to become homeless. It's irrelevant this took place years ago in Gulf Breeze as some have pointed out, rather its important as to why those who were responsible weren't held accountable and why Gulf Breeze leaders left their parks in these conditions in the first place. David Szymanski did admit that they look at the swings all the time which would mean they knew they were dangerous, if he's telling the truth, that makes it premeditated and they wanted it to happen.

City officials of Gulf Breeze to this day act as if nothing ever happened but indeed it happened to me. 

Below are a list of questions I sent to the city of Gulf Breeze in June of 2017. Below the questions is how Gulf Breeze city manager Samantha Abell responded about the negligence the city and it's staff engaged in. Mayor of Gulf Breeze Matt Dannheisser and ex-city manager when this occurred Edwin Eddy (current city consultant) declined to respond.

City Manager Samantha Abell's Response to The Above Questions

Excerpt: "It is not easy to grasp when hard times befall good people"

Dear Injured,

I cannot answer all your questions. But do know that I've read each one. I cannot speak for events which occurred in the past, as I have no knowledge. There is no response which can reverse your fall. Yes, the city does inspect it's playground equipment. We take safety seriously. All the same, I hear you when you say you are frustrated and hurt. I do not understand all which has occurred in the years since your injury. I can offer only this: I am sorry for your fall. I am sorry for your hurt. I am sorry for your frustration, your hardship and anger. It is not easy to grasp when hard times befall good people. I wish I could reverse your hurt, but I do know you were created for a purpose, and I hope for your peace and joy in the future.

In service,

Samantha Abell

Below you will find a response dated 4/11/2017 from the city attorney for Gulf Breeze after a public records request. Apparently according to him the city did not have a public playground safety inspection policy in place which led to this incident. Nor did they even try to purchase new chains for their swings because they wanted people to get hurt. 


WHEN THIS HAPPENED, I EVENTUALLY FOUND A LAWYER THAT SAID HE WOULD HELP ME BUT AS SOON AS HE GOT INVOLVED, my local representative got involved just enough to sweep me away.

Representative Clay Ford told me if I fired my lawyer he would help me. Clay said I would need to send a note to my lawyer saying I no longer wished to pursue damages against the city. He said once I've done this he would help me resolve it with the city himself. I followed Clay Ford's advice and then never heard from him again. I trusted my local representative and found myself without legal representation. The only legal representation I could find. Over the years since I've never recovered, I would periodically reach out to city officials asking them to help me only to be ignored. I became homeless as a result of this accident and lost everything. Gulf Breeze, FL robbed me of my health and left me for dead because of bad laws and corrupt city management. I even received an anonymous phone call while living in my car in 2010. The caller said I needed to quit talking to the media about the swing incident or else I'd be sorry I ever stepped foot in Gulf Breeze. This is sick!


Below is a letter I sent to Edwin Eddy (city manager Gulf Breeze, Florida) and forwarded to Beverly Zimmern (mayor) on May 29, 2014. Neither one of them responded to the letter, however Beverly Zimmern resigned her position as mayor several months later after a 14 year career with Gulf Breeze, Florida.


May 29, 2014

To: Edwin Eddy City Manager

Gulf Breeze, Florida

Forward: Beverly Zimmern

Mayor Gulf Breeze, Florida


-Start of letter-

In case you were wondering, I'm still hurt because of your rotten swing that broke in McClure park in August of 2008. Every muscle in my back throbs with pain more times than not because you and your employees chose not to maintain your playground equipment for safety. I just wanted you to know that this has severely altered my life in a big way. To be more blunt, you stole my health from me and every time I hurt and continue to struggle, I think of you. MRI's show extensive damage to my spine as a result of that swing breaking and slamming me into the ground.

Anyway you look at it, what you did to me and what you chose not to do for me afterwards was ethically and morally wrong. I hope you can live with yourself knowing that your negligence ruined a healthy life all because you chose not to change a $20 swing chain before I stepped foot in your city park. I know we don't know each other personally but I could just as well been your family or friend ending up in a wheel chair because of the dangers you chose to ignore in your city parks. You purposely left a human trap for someone to come along and get hurt. You were being paid to manage but for some odd reason chose not to while collecting a pay check from the tax payers.

I won't go away until my pain goes away. It's your fault I have that pain. You could of allowed your insurance company to help me and I could of got the medical attention I needed but for some reason you denied me of that help. I constantly wonder why you have done these terrible things to me and I also wonder why you never chose to help me. I did nothing to you to deserve it.

-end of letter-



Later after the accident sometime in 2009, I made another attempt to call Edwin "Buz" Eddy the city's manager. He and his assistant city manager David Szymanski both came on the phone and said there was nothing they could do for me. They also said that the swing chains in the video had many years of life left to them (please watch the video and you be the judge of that). They became very aggressive towards me and said I should not of put the video online and demanded I take it down because they say the video doesn't show the truth. The assistant city manager also said that he inspected the parks regularly and could not find any safety issues with any of the swings. I truly believe that if he had done that, he would of saw the worn chains and replaced them before I was injured. This means that if he’s telling the truth, then he apparently wanted someone to get hurt which is criminal activity and he should be held accountable for it.

This is a letter Florida League of Cities sent after I had an attorney contact the city of Gulf Breeze Florida on my behalf 

In May of 2009 this video was made to see if the city parks had any other dangerous swings remaining. 

A month later after the video was made the following letter was issued to my attorney by Florida League of Cities 

I've often wondered how Florida League of Cities can say there was no negligence involving the accident when a dated video clearly shows swings 10 months after the accident in Gulf Breeze city parks in a condition to break when used. These unsafe conditions took decades to happen as solid steel chains and swing seat hardware cannot wear down overnight. If the city had safety inspections in place within their parks and recreation department, the city would of been aware of the same unsafe conditions which caused my accident and later shown in the video on May 2009 one month before the above letter was issued.  


Scott Burton, President

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (C.P.S.I.)

Scott was notified after the incident occurred in Gulf Breeze and below is a copy of the email he sent to me giving his opinion.

Gulf Breeze is immune from common negligence but not from “gross” negligence. The conditions shown in the video tell me that they “knew or should have known” that the hardware was worn to the point it needed to be replaced. With proper inspections in place (which they may not have had), it would reveal these conditions and let them know to repair them. Playground safety rules by CPSC have been around since 1981, and those by ASTM since 1993. For any entity to say they’ve never heard of them tells me they had to have been living under a rock not to know. They knew!


Safety Play, Inc.

By; Scott Burton, President

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (C.P.S.I.), S.A.F.E. Certified

International Safety Consultant

All city council members of Gulf Breeze between 2008 to present knew about this as well as all people & entities listed below. They all ignored what happened and said there was nothing they could do. The local media also refused to mention it alerting the public to the dangers in the parks due to personal relationships with their friends and neighbors who work for the city. The media's decision to ignore this was a major factor in why the dangerous conditions remained for so long after the accident. Friends or not, this was news and it was withheld by the local media from the public further causing dangerous conditions in playgrounds where children and families play.

Mike Gomez Audit Manager Florida Auditor General

The Florida League of Cities

Senate Ethics Committee WA, DC

Gulf Breeze News

Numerous Reporters Pensacola News Journal

Numerous Reporters WEAR TV

Don Gaetz and his assistant Megan Rice

Edwin Eddy - Ex City Manager Gulf Breeze, now paid consultant to the city

David Szymanski - Assistant City Manager Gulf Breeze

Ron Pulley - ‎Director of Parks & Recreation Gulf Breeze

Lane Gilchrist - Mayor Gulf Breeze

Beverly Zimmern - Mayor Gulf Breeze

Matt Dannheisser - Mayor Gulf Breeze - Ex City Attorney

Curt Carver - Deputy City Manager Gulf Breeze

David G. Lanfair - Council Memebr Gulf Breeze

Cherry Fitch - Council Member Gulf Breeze

Joe Henderson - Council Member Gulf Breeze

Renee Bookout - Council Member Gulf Breeze

Bill Nelson - Senator Florida

Charlie Christ - Governor Florida

Rick Scott - Florida Governor

Pam Bondi - Attorney General Florida

Dianne Feinstein - Senator California

Jeff Miller - Senator Florida

Clay Ford - Senator Florida

Carol Hamrick - Florida League of Cities, Inc

Kaly Fox - District Aide to Senator Doug Broxson

Doug Broxson - Florida Senator, lives in Gulf Breeze

Frank White - State Representative

Charles Withers - District Assistant Florida Senate

Anna Higgins - Legislative Assistant Florida Senate

Tiffany Lorente - Secretary to Senator Flores

Anitere Flores - State Senator

Office of The Honorable John F. Simon Jr

Heather Robinson, Operations Manager Office of the Chief Inspector General

Florida Department of Management Services

ACLU of Florida

Virlindia Doss - Florida Commision on Ethics



UPDATE 4/06/2017

Kaly Fox of senator Doug Broxson's office sent me an email this morning, see here

Good morning,

After looking into your situation I am sorry to tell you that we are unable to help in this situation, I suggest you contact an attorney.

Best regards,

Kaly Fox

District Aide to Senator Doug Broxson


418 West Garden Street, Box #2

4th floor - Room 403

Pensacola, FL 32502

This is the kind of response I've gotten from everyone I've ever contacted in state or city government because no one wants to take the responsibility or shed light on the things Gulf Breeze did



UPDATE 6/07/2017

Florida League of Cities has been caught sending out no wrong doing letters like the ones above on behalf of the cities of Gulf Breeze, Pensacola and Winter Haven after each city engaged in negligence which lead to killing one man in Winter Haven, FL and injuring others in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola, FL.

Florida League of Cities claims they do investigations after negligent accidents however evidence has surfaced that proves they don't actually investigate anything, they only send out generic letters saying they do hoping to put an end to the incidents, saving the city costly litigation. There are 4 whistle-blowers who have come forward recently with evidence of cover up and corruption in Florida government pertaining to this.

Below is a story by a Florida newspaper of one incident that was said to be investigated by FLOC but actually never was before they sent out a "no wrong doing, no liability" letter to the family. This family has numerous documents which have been changed over time to hide the truth as well as voice recording of depositions by city workers caught in lies regarding her brothers death.  Read story here:






You're all fairly young and I'd guess when these issues were brought to the attention of city hall, you all were probably being taken to these parks by your mom. But what you and your mom didn't know was that each one of you could of ended up in a wheel chair for the rest of your life.

With that said, I wanted to take a moment and tell you something. When a swing is being used and it breaks, you are in the sitting position. The impact to your spinal cord is no different than jumping off the roof of a house while trying to land in the pool, but BAM!!! you miss the pool and land on the concrete pool deck.

The scenario I just spoke of is stupid and crazy that anyone would jump off of a house, it should never be done first of all. But when venturing out to your local park as a child, you kind of have a built in trust mechanism; you trust mommy and you trust the park since its located in pretty Gulf Breeze. What happened to me was no different and I trusted the park wouldn't hurt me, only a few minutes after getting on the swing, the giant chain broke. This was not a stupid or crazy act on my part, its not like jumping from a house, I only wanted to swing.

The reason the swing broke was described to me like this:

The swing manufacturer told us that the swing in McClure park on that day in 2008 was designed to hold 1000 pounds. They further told me that it would never break if the swing were inspected on a regular basis "guaranteed". The reason he said was because Gulf Breeze is located with ocean air surrounding it. Each night a micro layer of rust settles on the swing chain. When used, that same micro layer falls off. After about 30 years of this, the chain is no longer there and broke. A swing chain has a lot of links and I didn't spot any which appeared as if it was going to break.

This thought had never entered my mind before I used that swing. I had full 100% trust in that swing and used it to enjoy myself. But what I got instead was a life of misery, homelessness, pain and suffering. I wasn't able to work anymore because my body was broken.

When I called Gulf Breeze city hall, no one would talk to me about the accident and ignored me. Ten months later, I returned to Gulf Breeze with a video camera. My mission was to find swings which were ready to break in our local parks. What I found will turn your stomach when you think that when you and mom were in those parks, your life was in danger but you didn't know it.

You know who did know?

The city and all its staff knew because there was an accident, I was hurt and they never bothered to go out and replace the other swings.

Now,,,,,, I cannot say if they ever did replace them since I became homeless and left the area. But I wanted to tell you about this because no one deserves to be hurt this way and I am still very hurt. Just because they may have fixed them since then, doesn't make what happened OK. My life was changed in a very big way. When I think about how the city was never held responsible, I try to think of how they can justify it. I'll give you an example here:

-Beginning of example-

Lets say, and this is only an example. Lets say a 14 year old girl or boy tells their mom that a man was touching them in the "do not touch" area since they were 5. Lets say for example the man worked at city hall, just an example and not real. Lets say for example your mom goes to the police and tells them as if this "example" was real. Lets say the police tells mom that its ok now because that was 9 years ago and the man doesn't do that anymore, "he promised". Should we just leave the man alone or should we hold him accountable for what he's done?

-End of Example-

Isn't this the same as leaving dangerous swings hanging in the local parks when Gulf Breeze Police knew, the city manager Edwin Eddy knew, all the city council members knew, the mayor knew, your current mayor knew because he used to be the city attorney, Ron Pulley the head of parks and recreation knew, the city assistant manager knew, Gulf Breeze News knew and wouldn't write about it. Everyone knew except you, your mom and dad and everyone else who lives in Gulf Breeze that doesn't work for the city.

Even though its been 9 years, they all still knew and didn't do anything to correct the issues of swings about to break after one did. MY life has been ruined, but in reality, MY LIFE MATTERS regardless of what the city and leaders think.

I hope that all of you share this with the people close to you and the people you trust. Because there are people who work for Gulf Breeze who you simply cannot trust and they may hurt you if you don't stand up to them and speak out.


Thank You for your time!

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The city of Gulf Breeze was very wrong for doing these things and laws need to change to prevent these things from happening again. Speak out and let your voice be heard by calling Gulf Breeze city hall at (850) 934-5100