Winter Springs, FL — Incumbent Commissioner Kevin Cannon issued cease and desist letters to several constituents Tuesday, all of whom he accused of supporting his opponent and several other Winter Springs candidates running for other seats. The cease and desist letter issued by Cannon also contains legal documentation surrounding an alleged domestic violence incident in which Cannon was arrested and charged with battery against his wife.
The cease and desist letter was sent to Malcom Dangler, the moderator of the popular “I Love Winter Springs” Facebook page which has over 13,000 members. Several people had made negative posts about Kevin Cannon on the Facebook page, causing Commissioner Cannon to claim the site had produced “defamatory statements and information on social media”.
Jesse Phillips, the Seminole First Chairman, also received a cease and desist letter after his committee sent out a mailer claiming Cannon had voted in favor of residential development 91% of the time, and also voted to approve 1,000 additional apartments and senior living units.
“Kevin Cannon obviously doesn’t like having his record exposed,” Jesse Phillips said. “The entire premise of his campaign is that he will stop development, and yet his voting record tells a different story. As his constituent I exercised my first amendment right to point that out and he threatened me legally. It is unconscionable for a sitting commissioner to bully his constituents with such reckless threats.”
In addition to demanding negative communications stop, Cannon also demanded a retraction and apology. He also demanded the parties supply the name of liability insurance, indicating he intends further punitive legal action.
“Mr Cannon doesn’t seem to understand free speech,” Phillips added. “It was for situations exactly like this our founding fathers enacted the first amendment, so that people in powerful government positions cannot bully those they serve. Politicians never like it when you speak truth to power.”
The cease and desist letter also contained several documents related to a domestic dispute between Cannon and his now former wife. Cannon had been arrested and accused of assault and battery on his wife. Cannon’s documentation also showed his wife had been granted a restraining order against him surrounding the allegedly violent incident. The documentation in the cease and desist letter show Cannon’s legal attempts to gain custody of his child by arguing his former wife “had numerous issues,” “was somewhat manipulative” and “does not appear to be well grounded.”
Additionally, Kevin Cannon alleges parties such as Seminole First and Malcom Dangler are supporting a group of candidates running for various Springs Mayoral commission seats. His letter implicates these candidates in the defamation efforts. While it is unclear how closely his opponent is working with other candidates, there are several instances in which Cannon and several other candidates including Ted Johnson, TiAnna Hale and Ken Spalthoff purchased joint advertisements in local HOA newsletters. It is unclear whether any other candidates or Cannon’s opponents have received the cease and desist letters.