Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco judge sets aside ruling on red-light camera citation

NEW PORT RICHEY — A county judge who ruled red-light cameras unconstitutional has taken a step back to let a higher court step in.

Pasco County Judge Anne Wansboro had tossed out a citation Feb. 17 against Thomas Filippone. He had argued that the state red-light camera law was unconstitutional because it put the burden of proof on defendants to identify the driver who ran the light in their car.

But after the charge was dropped, attorneys for Port Richey and New Port Richey, which both have red-light cameras along U.S. 19, said they were not notified of the challenge or given the chance to argue in favor of the law. Neither was the Florida Attorney General's Office, which is required to be contacted when a state law's constitutionality faces a court challenge.

The Attorney General's Office filed a motion to intervene and asked the judge to set aside dismissing Filippone's ticket, which he received after a camera snapped a picture of his Nissan Altima running a red light on U.S. 19 in Port Richey.

Wansboro granted the request on April 20. In a joint ruling with County Judge Candy VanderCar, who presided in a separate red-light case, Wansboro said the attorney general is an "indispensable party" and is "entitled to be heard."

She also said she wanted to wait for a circuit court panel to decide an appeal in a separate red-light camera case filed by Gerald White, a retired police officer who also received a citation.

White has argued the law violated the equal protection clause because a red-light camera citation carries different fines than a police traffic stop.

Red-light cameras have been controversial since they first went up.

At stake are millions of dollars in revenue for local governments that collect the $158 civil citations. So far, court rulings have been mixed. Last year, three Hillsborough judges ruled that the county and Temple Terrace are using valid methods of enforcing tickets and collecting fines.

Port Richey City Attorney Joe Poblick said the city is satisfied with Wansboro setting aside her ruling and thinks the red-light cameras will be upheld on appeal.

"I'm confident that the city was within the bounds of constitutionality of the statute," he said.

Filippone said his case should not be linked to White's because they raise different issues. He also said a county judge has the right to rule on constitutionality.

"The constitution has not changed. Nothing has changed from February to April," he said.

However, Filippone, a former New Jersey lawyer who said he plans to take his challenge to the state's highest court if necessary, plans to ask that he be allowed to intervene as it may affect his case.

"I think I should have standing," he said. "If the court is going to hear arguments in Mr. White's case, I think I should be there, too."

Comments
Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for a Pinellas County man accused of beating and pushing a woman from a speeding car.On Feb. 17, Remond Brown II, 26, was traveling with the woman in a black Honda Accord near Highway 60 E...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Joe Henderson: Farewell to Eddie Card, sports enthusiast, gentleman and friend

Joe Henderson: Farewell to Eddie Card, sports enthusiast, gentleman and friend

There was an empty seat in the pew at the back of my church Sunday. It was where Eddie Card used to sit.That’s where I would see Eddie and his wonderful wife, Joan, nearly every week. He would always extend his hand and give mine a firm shake.He woul...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. He was 9...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Warm weather persists in Tampa Bay, but slightly cooler weekend ahead

Forecast: Warm weather persists in Tampa Bay, but slightly cooler weekend ahead

Tampa Bay has broken record high temperatures since Monday, and Thursday should be no different.Happy Thursday! We are rolling through the week and once again temperatures will be near record highs this afternoon. If we break the record high of 85° t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Here is the 2018 day-by-day Grapefruit League schedule. Check out the Tampa Bay Times’ 2018 Spring Training Guide for stadium locations, contact information, team-by-team schedules, ticket information and more.Thursday, Feb. 22U. of Tampa vs. Philade...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after Hillsborough County deputies say his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was received ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Rubio taken to task; Romano on the GOP lobby; St. Pete’s World Liquors sign finds new home; what if Rays know what they’re doing?

The Daystarter: Rubio taken to task; Romano on the GOP lobby; St. Pete’s World Liquors sign finds new home; what if Rays know what they’re doing?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Temperatures peaked Wednesday, but don’t expect cooler air to return just yet. Highs will remain in the mid 80s through next week, according to 10Weather WTSP. And it will re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Gun advocates are absolutely right about this:A ban on assault weapons will not end school shootings.How do we know?Because there was a federal ban on assault weapons for 10 years, and mass killings persisted. That’s because a ban deals only with fut...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Supercross brings athletes — not just motorcycle riders — to Tampa

Supercross brings athletes — not just motorcycle riders — to Tampa

TAMPA — When breaking down the competitive skill in Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series event at Raymond James Stadium, you won’t find an analysis of 40-yard dash times, bench-press weights or vertical-leap measurements...
Published: 02/22/18

Ernest Hooper: Andrew Young, in Tampa for award, holds up crown of inspiration at 85

Theologian and Morehouse College graduate Howard Thurman, a man who influenced many of the nation’s civil rights leaders, once issued a challenge to students at the famed Atlanta school.Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she...
Published: 02/22/18