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Commissioner Donna Johns and Alan Osborne Implicated in Walton County Citizen Surveillance Initiative

DeFuniak Springs, FL – In a startling revelation at the latest Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting, Commissioner Donna Johns has been accused of presenting private text messages from local resident Charles Galloway, raising serious concerns about the misuse of power and citizen surveillance.

The incident occurred during a discussion about the termination of county administrator Quinn Robertson. Commissioner Johns, unexpectedly, showcased screenshots of private messages from Galloway, who is neither a county official nor a staff member and was not present at the meeting. This unusual move sparked immediate questions about the appropriateness and legality of such actions in a public forum dedicated to official county business.

Further deepening the controversy, Alan Osborne, a known campaign contributor to Commissioner Johns, claimed during a public comment segment that he has had Galloway under surveillance since purchasing a computer from him several years ago. This statement has provided some insight into how Commissioner Johns might have obtained the private texts of a citizen.

The situation intensified when Galloway, upon being questioned, expressed his dismay at the public acknowledgment of such surveillance by a county commissioner. "I’m really in shock that a county commissioner would openly state that they have a private citizen under surveillance," Galloway stated, highlighting the gravity of the issue.

Adding to the complexity, Galloway, a former county employee, revealed that county IT staff member Jason Cook had previously alerted him about a county iPad that was still logged into his account. This new information suggests that the source of the text message leak might be within the county's own administration, rather than from Osborne's alleged surveillance, pointing to a potential misuse of county resources for personal or political agendas.

This incident in Walton County has brought to the forefront significant concerns regarding the abuse of power, privacy violations, and the ethical conduct of elected officials. The implications of a governmental authority engaging in or endorsing the surveillance of private citizens without just cause are profound and troubling.

Investigations are underway to determine the full extent of this incident and the appropriate actions to be taken. The Walton County administration is facing a crucial test in maintaining public trust and upholding the principles of responsible governance.

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