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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As Davis gets blasted by shock jock, others, his boss, Mayor Foster, remains silent

9

February

ST. PETERSBURG -- What does Mayor Bill Foster say in defense of Goliath Davis, one of his top employees who has been blasted this week for his decision to attend Saturday's funeral of Hydra Lacy?

Not much, at least publicly.

Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has spent the last three days blasting Davis for attending Lacy's funeral yet apparently missing the funeral of the two St. Petersburg police officers Lacy shot and killed, Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and K-9 Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz.

Clem has called Davis a "cancer in the community" and a "racist" and a "fraud." He says he won't rest until Foster does something about his senior administrator of community enrichment. Clem has riled up other voices, including St. Petersburg Detective Mark Marland, president of the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

"I believe attending the cop killer's funeral is a slap in the face to the fallen officers and their families," Marland told the Times on Monday. "I don't want anyone to think we're holding the Lacy family responsible. They're not responsible for the actions of one individual. But the fact of the matter is, it's the Lacy funeral."

So as e-mails are pouring into the mayor's office objecting to Davis, what does Foster say about him?

He declined comment when asked by the Times about Davis. He referred questions about the controversy to City Administrator Tish Elston, Davis' immediate supervisor. When asked for an explanation about his absence at the officers' Jan. 28 funeral, Elston provided this response in an e-mail.

"Not all (top city administrators) attended the services," Elston said. "No (top city administrators) were required to attend. As with the entire City organization, some assisted directly with the services, while others ensured that the city's routine services were carried out. It was made clear to all staff that the city's service delivery needed to be maintained throughout. Goliath, along with others, ensured that the city was running smoothly."

Foster did say he wasn't aware that anyone on his staff directed Davis to attend the Lacy funeral. Davis said "absolutely not" when asked if he was told not to attend the officers' funeral. He replied "absolutely not" again when asked if he had been asked by city staff to attend the Lacy funeral.

City Hall is hearing the crickets.

"I'm not sure why there's a silence on the mayor's part," said City Council Member Jeff Danner. "He's the mayor. He should defend those actions by his staff members, or take action against them if he disapproves."

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

 

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:17pm]

    

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