by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Our looming public records dispute with the city of Plantation, Florida, was resolved this morning with the city clerk’s release to us of additional documents: attachments to an email sent by the coach of the host swim club at a November 2012 age-group swim meet in Plantation. Alex Pussieldi was accused there by a parent and volunteer coach of having inappropriately touched one of his 13-year-old or preteen swimmers on the Davie Nadadores.
At the request of the parent, J.P. Cote, the coach of the city-owned Plantation Piranhas, Jimmy Parmenter, generated targeted printouts from the meet computer database. The printouts included lists of Davie swimmers who fit the age and gender parameters of the meet events around the time Cote said he saw Pussieldi stroking the inner thigh of a boy in a brief swimsuit.
Cote forwarded Parmenter’s database documents to Sergeant Robert Mazer of the Plantation police, and urged the officer to get corresponding contact information from Liz Hoendervoogt of USA Swimming in Colorado Springs, who had assured Cote that she would provide the information if asked.
Emails earlier made public by Plantation show that on December 4, 2012, Sergeant Mazer wrote to Cote, “I have received said files, however I will need the 4-5 boys’ specific contact information such as telephone numbers and possibly addresses as well. ”
The “4-5 boys” reference is cryptic. Mazer’s police report, which we wrote about and uploaded on March 5 (see https://concussioninc.net/?p=8761 and http://muchnick.net/pussieldipolicereport.pdf), states that he “made contact with two of the boys and their parents…. The third never returned my calls.” (Yet another curious aspect is the officer’s apparent sole reliance on telephone calls rather than face-to-face interviews.)
Our interpretation of the Mazer-to-Cote email is that Mazer was exaggerating the scope of his efforts by claiming an interest in contact information for “4-5 boys” rather than two to three.
But after Plantation today complied with our request for copies of Parmenter’s database attachments, the difference between “two or three” and “four or five” no longer has any importance. Clearly, Cote gave the police dozens of names to investigate. The documents thoroughly confirm Cote’s contention that the police were lazy in their effort to track down evidence in support of his eyewitness complaint.
Coach Parmenter sent Cote four attachments. One, the complete Davie Nadadores meet roster, had 25 boys age 14 or under.
A second attachment listed three boys age 14 or under who swam in the meet “unattached.” (This was generated in case some swimmers were competing with Davie that weekend but did not yet have club membership credentials.)
A third attachment broke out all the Davie boys age 14 and under who swam events on Sunday, the day Cote said he witnessed Pussieldi’s inappropriate or illegal behavior. There were seven of those.
The fourth attachment, the Sunday event unattached boys age 14 and under, had three possibilities.
Sergeant Mazer and Plantation police chief W. Howard Harrison have not responded to Concussion Inc.’s requests for comment.
Meanwhile, USA Swimming’s Hoendervoogt (top aide to safe sport director Susan Woessner), was emailing Cote, “ I appreciate your willingness to share all the concerns you have regarding DANA coach Alex Pussieldi. We will continue to stay in touch regarding USA Swimming’s next steps. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or if other things come up.”
The USA Swimming investigation, like the Plantation police investigation, petered out. The whole picture is exactly as J.P. Cote has been portraying it: both the national sport governing body and local law enforcement acted with near-maximum passivity in pursuing a complaint about an accused pedophile.