Graphic by Professor Luz Nagle
“International Anti-Corruption Champions” In Tampa Bay!
November 25-December 2, 2023
City Tour & A Stone Crab Experience!
Sunday started with a whirlwind tour of St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront, crammed with local history and tons of questions: "Do people live on those boats?" "Why is this place called St. Petersburg?" "Why is there so much green space along the waterfront" and so many more! Then from Tampa Bay to the fresh breezes and white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico in Pass-a-Grille...
Overlooking Tierra Verde's Smuggler's Cove, lunch at Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant gave everyone their first opportunity for informal conversation, and get to know each other. There's no conversation starter quite like some unique Florida delicacies like Conch fritters, Stone Crab claws, and Key Lime pie!
Project Opening & Luncheon
The official project opening brought Mr. Adam Footlik, Program Officer, USDOS; Ms. Renée Worthington, Senior Program Officer, Center for Global Leadership, Ms. Jillian Kenny, Senior IVLP Program Associate, from Meridian International Center to St. Petersburg to get the show on the road! It was a privilege for World Partnerships to host this key event for all IVLP projects; not only are the details, logistics and itinerary related for the first time, but it is also the first opportunity for each visitors to tell their story, and fine tune their hoped-for outcomes of this IVLP program.
An opening luncheon was enjoyed at the Parkshore Grill on St. Petersburg's trendy Beach Drive.
Mr. Robert O'Neill, Former United States Attorney, Middle District of Florida: "Prosecuting Corruption"
"Investigating and prosecuting corruption is a high priority in protecting democracy."
Mr. O'Neill drew from his long career prosecuting corruption and financial crime to lead an in-depth conversation about US law and international collaboration to combat corruption.
Robert O’Neill served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida on two separate occasions under Presidents Bush and Obama. In that position, he investigated and prosecuted cases in addition to handling his supervisory responsibilities. Bobby started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office under the legendary Robert Morgenthau, the then Manhattan District Attorney. In that office, he was assigned to a Trial Bureau. His responsibilities included the prosecution of criminal cases from inception through appeal. He then became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida (Miami). In addition to prosecuting federal criminal cases, Bobby also held several supervisory positions in that office, including Deputy Chief, Major Drug Traffickers Section and Chief, Financial Litigation Section. He is currently Managing Partner and Founder of SI Global Strategic Partners.
Professor Luz Nagle, Stetson University College of Law: "Framework for Fighting Corruption"
"What happens when the system itself is corruption?"
Professor Luz Nagle conducted an interactive clinic on effective methods of battling corruption from the local to the global level, including efforts through the United Nations to create an International Court Against Corruption. Having faced the same types of threats as our visitors, Luz created an immediate rapport and outstanding dialogue during her session.
Professor Luz E. Nagle specializes in international law, international criminal law, transborder criminal law, and national security law. Her career prior to teaching includes having confronted drug lords and political corruption as a young judge in Medellín, Colombia, practicing commercial and employment law with a large Colombian agribusiness, working as an undercover private investigator in Los Angeles, serving as a law clerk to the Supreme Court of Virginia, and pursuing software pirates as a member of Microsoft Corporation’s Latin America Copyright Enforcement Practice. She has lectured at countless law schools and universities around the globe, and served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, during the Fall 2019 semester.
Mr. Al Tompkins, retired Senior Faculty, Poynter Institute: "Fighting Truth Decay"
"Seeing is no longer believing."
Al Tompkins outlined the challenges of misinformation and disinformation for any type of investigation, and the pros and cons of emerging artificial intelligence tools in a fast-paced news environment. And, while the potential for creating turmoil is a real challenge, there will also be great value as AI develops, especially for in-depth research and investigations.
Al has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world, among them, thousands of IVLP journalists. His teaching focuses on writing, reporting, storytelling, ethics, critical thinking, photojournalism, social media and online journalism. Tompkins has taught television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his workshops in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Ecuador, Denmark, Cayman, Iceland and South Africa. Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: Write, Shoot, Report, Produce for TV and Online,” which is being used by more than 125 universities as their main broadcast writing, reporting and ethics textbook.
Welcome by St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth Welch; Workshop with Chief Anthony Holloway, St. Petersburg Police Department, Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Michael Donovan, Federal Bureau of Investigation: "Investigating Corruption at the Local, State & Federal Levels"
Mayor Welch welcomed the Champions to St. Pete, and spoke about "professionalism, integrity and transparency" in local government to fight corruption.
Chief Holloway, SAC Brutnell and SSRA Donovan described the importance of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and prosecute corruption, and how the task force model ensures that all levels of law enforcement remain involved and collaborate in investigations. Chief Holloway also offered a recent task force case study on busting an international narcotics trafficking network.
Mr. Robert Mazur, author, former undercover agent, Drug Enforcement Administration: "Fighting the Export of Corruption"
"What you've done against corruption is the most important thing in the world."
Robert Mazur has earned global acclaim as one of the world’s leading experts on the financial escapades of the underworld. There is no one with more first-hand knowledge about how international black money markets launder nearly $2 trillion in criminal proceeds annually. For years, in the eyes of organized crime leaders he was a highly successful mob connected money launderer that helped manage their illicit fortunes. He spent five years as a deep undercover agent for US, UK, French and other government law enforcement, gathering evidence that led to some of the largest money laundering prosecutions in history. The only undercover agent in the world to have infiltrated so deeply into the inner circle of financial crime, his experience is unique.
Mr. Mazur gave a compelling presentation on combatting government corruption and money laundering, relating his experiences investigating BCCI and its role laundering money for the Medellin Cartel. Bob’s multimedia presentation provided insight into the techniques of money laundering and financial crime, methods of investigation, and safety and security measures for those who investigate them. He also autographed his latest book, The Betrayal, and spoke individually with each of the champions.
SPPD Reception at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum
Ms. Terri Lipsey Scott, Executive Director, the Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum, hosted the Champions at the Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum for a reception and informal discussion why Black history matters, and about the creation of a new Woodson museum as part of the Historic Gas Plant District re-development, making it the only purpose-built African-American museum building in Florida. The museum currently features legacy works by the children of the legendary Florida Highwaymen, African-American landscape painters. Thanks to the St. Petersburg Police Department for their sponsorship of the reception.
Supervisory Special Agent Michael Calvo, Homeland Security Investigations: "Global Collaboration Against Corruption"
SSA Calvo, recently returned from an overseas posting for the Department of Homeland Security, described the global footprint of Homeland Security Investigations, and the ways in which it collaborates with local and national authorities through transnational criminal investigative units. Working with partner nations, operations are conducted to identify, disrupt or dismantle international components of terrorist and illicit networks, focusing on information exchange, criminal case development, interdictions, seizures, arrests and prosecutions. SSA Calvo presented a number of case studies showing how these criminal networks engage in corruption at all levels.
Dr. Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Associate Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg: "Federalism in the United States"
Dr. McLauchlan gave the group a “full semester civics and US Government course in two hours”! Judithanne drew on her research and perspective as a political scientist, and from her extensive experience as a practitioner working at the US Supreme Court, the US Senate Judiciary Committee, the US Department of Justice, and the White House and Presidential campaigns. Dr. McLauchlan is a frequent participant in IVLP projects in Tampa Bay, and has created her own “IVLP alumni network” for her academic travels.
Dr. Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, an Associate Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where she teaches courses in American Government and Public Law. She is the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of Florida Studies (2022-24) focusing on Florida politics and government. A former Fulbright Scholar to Moldova (Constitutional Law, Politics, and the Judicial Process) and to North Macedonia (Rule of Law and Civil Society).
To close out the IACC program in Tampa Bay, the Champions engaged in two-hour one-on-one meetings with professional peers for discussions relevant to their current work. Meetings included:
Around St. Pete, and A Sail Into the Sunset!
With the World Partnerships staff and some veteran international liaisons and interpreters as their guides, the International Anti-Corruption Champions balanced an outstanding professional program with visits all over St. Petersburg and the beaches. Whether a reception at the Woodson African-American Museum, interacting with a docent at the Dali, walking the historic Stetson Law campus, or exploring downtown's diverse food experience, the Champions had the whole Suncoast experience!
Finishing out their time in our community with a Sunset Sail out of John's Pass into the Gulf of Mexico was a relaxing and reflective end to their time with us.