Brian Christopher Henley allegedly threatened to “wipe the streets with the blood” of a GOP Orlando City Council candidate, and is now facing potential sanctions from the court.
By Jacob Engels
Yes folks, it is almost election time. With less than 20 days until municipal elections in the City of Orlando, we are seeing all types of drama entering the City Council and Mayoral races. Outsiders like Randy Ross in Orlando City Council District 4, Nathan Chambers in District 6, and Paul Paulson in the race to replace Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer are all receiving traction among voters who are tired of career politicians.
As such, we are seeing the partisan knives coming out… from campaign operatives and activists. Last week, we learned of a complaint filed against Orlando City Commission candidate Randy Ross by former campaign worker Brian Christopher Henley. Mr. Henley contended that Randy Ross paid him to gather petitions for his campaign, after Ross filed paperwork to avoid paying fees to verify petition signatures.
Mr. Ross has denied these claims.
According to a statement provided to the Orlando Sentinel, Ross described Henley’s duties as legal. He said he terminated Mr. Henley for his “erratic” behavior. Ross, who has had legal troubles of his own in the past, had the majority of the charges filed against him in relation to an insurance claim dropped. He was represented by attorney Roger Scott.
Now, the East Orlando Post has learned that following Mr. Henley’s departure from the campaign… and his subsequent complaint, that he made a threat against Mr. Ross and his mother. In a communication allegedly sent to Mr. Ross by Henley after an advertisement was placed in the LBGT publication Watermark about Ross’ involvement in the Orlando Pride parade, Henley fired off a bizarre and explicit message to Ross.
“I see you are going to be in the Pride parade. Good. I’m going to mop the streets of downtown with the blood of you and your crippled mother,” Henley proclaimed, according to a communication between the two sent through instant messenger that was referenced in court documents.
Mr. Ross told the East Orlando Post that this was extremely concerning to him, and that he took this and other information to the court requesting an order of protection against stalking activities from Mr. Henley. He also decided to not march in the parade fearing for the safety of his mother Betty, who regularly appears on the campaign trail with him.
Respected lawyer and Judge, Patricia Strowbridge, issued an order of protection against stalking, barring Mr. Henley against any further electronic for psychical contact with Ross or anyone close to him. In return, Mr. Henley has filed a continuance with the court and requested that the order of protection be modified.
Henley has been an activist in Democratic politics for years. A source told us that he has volunteered and assisted the campaigns of newly-minted Democrat Charlie Crist, Congressman Alan Grayson, and Mayor of Orlando John H. “Buddy” Dyer. Mr. Henley denied even meeting Dyer or assisting his campaign in any capacity.
It is unknown whether or not he is currently volunteering for or being paid by the Buddy Dyer re-election campaign. Calls to the Mayor’s re-election campaign were unanswered, with the most recent call ending with a “we’ll get back to you”. Mr. Henley denied even meeting Dyer or assisting his campaign in any capacity.
Regardless, Mr. Henley’s alleged threats to “wipe the streets with the blood” his former boss and his elderly mother are cause for concern.
Late this week, we’re told that Mr. Henley violated the stalking order from Judge Strowbridge and a police report was filed detailing the violation. His violation of a protection order against stalking is not the proper tone he needs to set going into an upcoming court appearance.
The court hearing, which has been set for October 23rd, will process this new information and further evaluate Mr. Ross’s allegations against Henley. The submission of Henley’s request to modify the order of protection and ask for a continuance could also be a topic of discussion. It is not known how this violation will effect the outcome of the hearing or if Henley could face fines or jail-time.
That being said, I think that any of Mr. Henley’s current clients or political patrons would be concerned about this dispute and looking to distance themselves from him immediately. When you are scrapping for votes in the final hours, unnecessary drama like this distracts from the real issues important to voters.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org