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Blogging Hernando official posts his side of the story

Assistant County Attorney Kent Weissinger won’t be able to access blogs at work.

Assistant County Attorney Kent Weissinger won’t be able to access blogs at work.

BROOKSVILLE — The day after being revealed in the Hernando Times as the author of a new local news blog, Assistant County Attorney Kent Weissinger hit the keyboard to speak to readers and to explain his actions.

Weissinger, also known as flarr­fan, responded at length Thursday on his blog, Hernando News Source Live (blog.hernando newssource.com) to more than a dozen comments the Times story drew from readers.

He was careful to point out that he was not doing so while at work, the main concern expressed by county officials about his activities. At one point, he noted that he was going to receive a written reprimand of sorts from his boss.

"I say: "My boss would say my main offense is bringing attention back to an issue that is being played up now for reasons that have far more to do with others than with me. I am getting a counseling letter placed in my file, and I am now on notice to make sure my work activities are beyond reproach. I've been here for 10 years. If it ends tomorrow, life goes on, and so does the news. I have noted on another forum that I have some plans for that day, whether it arrives on my retirement day five years hence, or five days from now."

Weissinger, who calls himself "Mr. News'' on his blog, can claim a scoop. Word of the counseling letter came as news Friday to Weissinger's boss, County Attorney Garth Coller.

"There is no such letter and there will probably never be one,'' Coller said. "As far as I'm concerned, verbal counseling was all that was needed.''

Weissinger was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment.

Coller did say that he was taking steps to make sure that Weissinger does all of his blogging on his own time.

"I've asked (the county's information technology department) to block all of his access to blogs at work,'' he said. "What he does at home is his First Amendment right and his personal business."

Logan Neill contributed to this report. Greg Hamilton can be reached at hamilton@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6113.

Blogging Hernando official posts his side of the story 06/13/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:03pm]
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