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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

John Romano column: Imagine a state that protects the environment

Imagine you are a boss in the Department of Environmental Protection.

It is your job to preserve the state's wetlands. To ensure water quality is never compromised, and developers do not destroy that which makes Florida unique.

So now one of your experts is telling you an investment company is trying to pull a fast one. That it is claiming a batch of land it owns is valuable wetlands property.

Your expert says most of the land does not qualify as wetlands, and it's neither legal nor wise to take the landowner's word that improvements to the environment will be made.

So what do you do?

Do you compliment your employee on the thoroughness of her work? Do you praise her integrity for refusing to bow to political pressure on this deal?

If you are Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn, you suspend your expert and clear the path for the investment company to recoup the millions of dollars it has spent on this land deal, according to an outstanding report by the Times' Craig Pittman on Monday.

Column here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 9:16am]


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