On October 3rd last year, Historic City News reported that Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed an executive order directing that Central Florida prosecutor Jeffrey L. Ashton, come to St Augustine to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Michelle O’Connell and the subsequent investigation led by St Johns County Sheriff David B Shoar.
It would be July 31, 2015, before we would learn anything from Ashton’s office concerning the progress of the investigation. Then, nine months later, Ashton released his conclusions; finding, in so many words, that although there were arguable allegations against Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Banks and his involvement in O’Connell’s death, he failed to find clear and convincing evidence sufficient to convince a jury of Bank’s responsibility.
Ashton did not exhume the body of the decedent, even though Historic City News is informed that the family will authorize another autopsy. He would not convene a grand jury to independently listen to the body of evidence and let them determine if Banks should be charged. To date, the only people who have reviewed the evidence have been members of law enforcement, criminal analysts, and the Medical Examiners. The evidence has never been tested at trial before a jury or grand jury.
Now comes the news that Ashton’s fidelity, at least in his marriage, may not be his strong suit.
According to Jacob Engels at the East Orlando Post, a subscriber database from the Ashley Madison website where clients can arrange to have extramarital affairs in secret, indicates that Ashton had two separate, paid user accounts. Ashley Madison stored records indicated that both Jeff Ashton accounts were accessed from IP address “126.96.36.199”. In other words, it appears Jeff Ashton was using the cheating website on taxpayer’s time, on a state-owned machine and computer network at the Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.
Historic City News decoded the IP address for ourselves today and determined by using a reverse search, the IP address, 188.8.131.52, is registered as “HOST-204.OCNJCC.ORG” and routes to Orange-Country-Court-Administration-66-193-236-0 85a9340c-ca70-11db-ad69-0015c5e45005 ORANGE COUNTY COURT ADMINISTRATION by Time-Warner Telecom in Orlando, FL.
Jeff Ashton is a “married man with six children,” Engles said. He leveraged his fame from the Casey Anthony trial into a book deal, a successful run for State Attorney for Orange and Osceola Counties, and a great deal of moralizing.
The integrity and fidelity of all participants in the criminal justice system must be above reproach. When an elected public official, like Jeff Ashton, appears to be shopping the Internet for people to participate in an illicit rendezvous, and communicates sexual fantasies, as described in some of his postings, his position of trust is irreparably violated and his resignation should come forthwith.