Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

What a week: Jerry Springer Show to be evidence in court, two public officials brawl and another speaks the truth

Some I'm-not-making-this-up moments from the week that was and the one to come:

You would think Hillsborough Circuit Judge Dan Perry had heard it all.

The longtime judge presides over probation violations, known to the cynical as "excuse court." By now he must have heard every possible reason a person on probation might test positive for drugs besides knowingly ingesting them, from borrowing another man's pants (don't ask me) to a tale involving mango-scented body lotion (you don't want to know). He has heard every conceivable reason someone wasn't home when he was supposed to be, including a love of Taco Bell.

But he's never duked it out, so to speak, with Jerry Springer.

Monday, Judge Perry is scheduled to hear the case of Deborah Boyles, 22, on probation for a dealing in stolen property charge. Boyles is now accused of leaving the state without permission from her probation officer because she could not resist the lure of bright television lights.

From court documents: "This (probation) officer was able to confirm that the offender had been a guest on the Jerry Springer show, on an episode titled 'It's not my baby.' "

If you are unfamiliar with the infinite variety of humanity and oddity Mr. Springer manages to ferret out across America, know the show often culminates in an on-stage slap fight. It is class with a capital "K," and of course, we provide lots of fodder from around here.

The episode, which aired earlier this year, is tame by Springer standards. Viewable on his Web site, it features a "Debbie" who confesses to her female love interest that she has been, if I understood this correctly, pretending to be pregnant in order to keep their relationship together.

Might the judge play the actual show in court for identification purposes? Stay tuned.

A final thought: Springer fans are legion at your local courthouse. Do you suppose they might rally Monday, altering their standard chant of enthusiasm for Judge Perry? (PER-ree, PER-ree, PER-ree)

Now for more dignified doings over at Tampa City Council. Wait, did someone on the dais just throw a chair?

In what should have been a mundane hearing on a restaurant's request to serve beer and wine, two council members threw down when Joseph Caetano called out John Dingfelder for being out of town the last time they talked about the issue. Voices rose.

"Don't start with me," said Dingfelder. "I'll start with you," said Caetano, and hey, great comeback.

A grown-up in the room, Chairman Tom Scott, wisely called a recess, after which Linda Saul-Sena chastised the boys. "That is unprofessional," she said, aghast. "Yelling." And yes, it ended with a big he started it, a proud day all around for local government.

Over in federal court, Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin White defended himself against accusations that he hit on his young aide and fired her when she, well, wouldn't. His explanation: He was actually helping her hook up with a politically powerful elderly man. (Hmm. Isn't there a word for that?)

My vote for most-telling-if-inadvertent exchange came when her lawyer asked White how a "normal, moral person" could agree to this sort of arrangement. "I don't know the definition of a normal, moral person," said White, and enough said.

What a week: Jerry Springer Show to be evidence in court, two public officials brawl and another speaks the truth 08/21/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Man taken into custody after live streaming drive along Clearwater Beach sand

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater Police took a man into custody Thursday afternoon after, they said, he drove his car over beach chairs and umbrellas along Clearwater Beach and streamed it on Facebook.

  2. Once trapped and wounded, manatee and calf return to the wild

    Wildlife

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The small crowd readied cameras and craned their necks, peering over heads and through bodies to try and catch a glimpse. Brittany Pharel, 10, wanted to see the hulking manatees, a mother and her calf, laid out on blue tarps Thursday along the edge of the Pithlachascotee River.

    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo's associate veterinarian Lauren Smith, 33, examines the heart rate of a manatee calf named Cottee just before it was released into the waters of the Pithlachascotee River on Thursday. 
Cottee's mother Pascow was released at the same time in New Port Richey. 
The pair became stranded in May and the mother was found wounded. They needed to be rehabilitated before they could be released into open waters. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  3. Gov. candidate Chris King: Climate change is biggest threat to Florida's economy

    Blogs

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King today made his case for how economic growth and fighting climate change go hand in hand. His rivals for the Democratic nomination, Gwen Graham, …

    Winter Park businessman Chris King and his family
  4. Editorial: Buckhorn's proposed tax increase is too high for Tampa

    Editorials

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposed city budget for 2018 confronts some hard realities of the times. With debt payments looming and another fire station opening in fast-growing north Tampa, the City Council needs to consider raising property taxes, especially with the prospect of another homestead exemption around the …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s proposed city budget for 2018 confronts some hard realities of the times. But it seems overly ambitious, and the City Council should be cautious about raising taxes too much in a single swoop.
  5. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo

    Health

    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.