Tampa Bay Times legend Lucy Morgan retires - again
She officially announced her retirement back in 2005, but regular readers of the Tampa Bay Times know that onetime Tallahassee bureau chief and Pulitzer winner Lucy Morgan hasn't gone long without significant bylines in the paper.
The list of great stories penned when she was supposedly slowing down as a part-time correspondent included the unveiling of the lavish accommodations at the new $50 million courthouse for the First District Court of Appeal of Florida, dubbed "Florida's Taj Mahal in her first story for the facility's expensive amenities and materials.
That controversy brought a state investigation, cutbacks on the project, and the resignation of former chief judge Paul M. Hawkes, among other fallout.
Times features writer Jeff Klinkenberg did a great profile of Lucy back when she first announced her retirement; this time, she insists she will be leaving the newspaper reporting ranks more fully, retiring for a second time March 1.
Here's the memo editor Neil Brown shared with the staff at the Tampa Bay Times:
"Since her official retirement six years ago, our esteemed colleague Lucy Morgan has remained a part time contributor to the Tampa Bay Times. Even with an abbreviated schedule, Lucy remained a central part of the Times brand in Tallahassee and she continued to hold the powerful to account with her award-winning journalism.
Now Lucy has decided to move fully into retirement with her husband (and former Timesman) Dick Morgan. She will complete her run at the Times on March 1.
We’ll hear more from and about Lucy in the coming weeks. For now, let’s just let Lucy write it:
'It’s hard to leave a job that provides me with so much entertainment, but it’s time.
Where else can you find public officials who behave so badly, write about them and force them to do the right thing? I almost feel guilty for collecting a paycheck all these years.
When I “retired’’ from the bureau chief's job seven years ago this month I expected to spend a year or two writing a few stories and then move on. But one story led to another and I m still here. There are many more stories to be written, but I have finally realized I must leave some for others to complete.
So on March 1, I plan to really retire. After 48 years it is time to turn in my press pass.
I need to make a real effort to repair my ankle and knee. Maybe I ’ll use the free time to write a book. I look forward to seeing the Times continue publishing great stories that help Floridians understand this crazy state we cover. We have long put light on issues and problems that no other news organization bothers to write about. I hope all of you will continue to look into the “dark corners’ that can develop when no newspaper looks at what is going on.
The Times will always be a part of me. Don’t hesitate to call me if there is anything I can do. Thanks for all the memories.'"
Below is a great NPR story on Lucy done last year: