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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Foster defends Go Davis' right to attend Hydra Lacy Jr. funeral

10

February

ST. PETERSBURG — After nearly three days of silence on the subject, Mayor Bill Foster released a statement Wednesday supporting one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis, for attending the funeral of the gunman who killed two St. Petersburg police officers on Jan. 24.

Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has blasted Davis for attending Hydra Lacy Jr.'s funeral yet apparently missing the funeral of Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and K-9 Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz. Davis has said he went to the Lacy funeral to support the family, which includes his friend, boxer Jeff Lacy. Davis would not say whether he attended the officers' funeral, but said he paid his respects to their families.

Clem called Davis' presence at Lacy's funeral an affront to the slain officers and their families. He also said he had it from high-ranking law enforcement sources that Davis, the city's police chief from 1997 to 2001, missed the officers' funeral.

Others joined in the criticism, including a top police union official and dozens of angry listeners who sent e-mails to Foster demanding that Davis be fired.

Foster responded Wednesday with a 163-word statement that endorsed the job Davis was doing as his senior administrator of community enrichment.

"I will not … sit in judgment of anyone who reaches out to a family in crisis — period," Foster wrote. "If I felt compelled to respond to every radio personality who took issue with the city, that would become all consuming, and there is simply too much work to be done."

"The job of Dr. Davis is to help me do my job, especially in matters of community enrichment, codes, housing and business assistance," Foster said. "As far as I am concerned, all parties involved are performing their jobs at a very high level." Read the rest of the story here.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:14pm]

    

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