When Gov. Rick Scott tapped Kimberly Fahlgren to fill a vacant seat on the Nassau County School Board, she probably didn’t realize just how nasty life as a public figure could be. The fifth-generation Nassau County conservative Republican is known more for her volunteer work with the 4-H Callahan Country Kids than for hardball politicking.
Beginning near midnight on Feb. 8, Fahlgren learned in all-too-graphic detail just how harrowing public life can be, especially for a woman. That’s when a Craigslist personals ad, made to appear as if it were placed by Fahlgren, but allegedly created by a fellow West Nassau County Republican, began generating calls.
The ad’s title was: “I need a real dick w4m (Hilliard).”
It read: “I am Kimberly Fahlgren. I have been masturbating with my dildo but now I want a real dick. Nothing else matter just have a real dick.” The ad listed Falhgren’s actual cell number, but written out “Nine0four … ”, which is a ploy known as hookerizing, used to escape phone number detection by anti-prostitution monitors on Craigslist.
The calls started just before midnight. By the time Fahlgren contacted the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 9, she’d received more than 50 sexually explicit text messages and calls to her cell phone. Several of the men who contacted her said they were already in Hilliard and eager to meet up with her.
Fahlgren did not immediately agree to talk to Folio Weekly about the incident, but her husband, attorney Steve Fahlgren, helped prepare a statement about what he defines as a case of “Internet bullying.”
“There are so many predators on the Internet, and this activity pointed them straight at me and my family like a loaded gun,” the statement quotes Kimberly Fahlgren as saying. “As a mother of small children, I believe the safety and security of the home is of paramount importance, and should be sacred. Bullying, whether on a playground or in a campaign, is no laughing matter.”
Nassau County Sheriff’s Detective W. Herrington subpoenaed Craigslist and traced the ad to the vice president of the Westside Republican Club. On March 14, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office charged Curtiss Gilbert Quarrier III, 23, with “criminal use of personal identification information,” a third-degree felony. He has submitted a written plea of not guilty and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 3. Quarrier, owner of Moonlight Cattle Co., has reportedly since resigned from the Westside Republican Club, but club president Jeannie Sasser did not respond to an email seeking comment. Before his Facebook page disappeared, Quarrier asked his friends for prayers. “Everyone I messed up big time,” his Feb. 22 wall post read. “That isn’t even enough to cover what I did. I was part of something awful I need prayer to get through this. Please pray that God gets me through.” (His wall posts also include this chauvinist gem: “How to speak about women and be politically correct: She is not DUMB; she is a DETOUR OFF THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY.”)
Both Fahlgren and Quarrier are from Nassau County families that go back generations. Quarrier is the son of third-generation Callahan ranching family; his grandfather helped start the Northeast Florida Fair, and his father is president of the Nassau County Farm Bureau. Fahlgren’s family dates back five generations. She and her husband Steve moved back to Callahan to raise their children near family and in a wholesome country atmosphere, according a friend who has known the couple since they lived in Orlando, but who asked not to be identified. Kimberly Fahlgren earned a degree in occupational therapy from University of Florida and is a part-time occupational therapist as well as an adjunct professor in the occupational therapy assistant program at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She met Quarrier when she became involved in the local Republican Party.
A woman who answered the telephone at Quarrier’s Artesian Boulevard home in Callahan, who sounded like a mom but wouldn’t say if she was his mother or not, referred Folio Weekly to Quarrier’s Fernandina Beach attorney Harrison Poole. He would not comment on Quarrier’s Facebook statements or about the case, other than to confirm the charges and say Quarrier had pled not guilty.
“I understand it was a very traumatic episode,” Poole said. “I don’t have any comment about the specifics while the case is pending. As far as more than that, I can’t say anything else, not while it’s pending.”
Fahlgren is seeking re-election to her District 4 School Board seat, and has three opponents, but is clearly rattled by the attack. “This type of behavior is very discouraging and only seeks to deter well-meaning citizens, especially women, from seeking public office,” she said in her statement.
Although Craigslist took down the advertisement months ago, the nightmare hasn’t ended. Fahlgren’s phone rang at around 2 a.m. on April 24. The man on the other end wanted Kimberly.
Susan Cooper E