Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commissioner apologizes to all county workers for 'stupid' e-mail

BROOKSVILLE — County Commissioner Jeff Stabins late Friday e-mailed all county employees to apologize for his "stupid and sophomoric" e-mail from Tuesday.

"I apologize for worrying my friends and colleagues unnecessarily and for accidentally providing my enemies the fodder they so desperately need to try to have me removed from office by the Governor,'' he wrote.

Stabins said he sent the e-mail to assure county employees that while he has had some medical issues and is currently out of state, he is fine and looks forward to returning to Florida next week and reconnecting with his friends and county employees.

The message was sent after a story in the St. Petersburg Times on Friday called some of his recent behavior erratic, and quoted Stabins' four fellow county commissioners voicing concerns for his mental and physical well-being.

Much of the discussion came to a head on Tuesday when Stabins, who has been at his parents' home in New York since late on Easter Day, sent an e-mail that he wanted read by Chairman Jim Adkins before the commission meeting began to explain his absence.

The bizarre e-mail was entered into the record but not read during the meeting. It hinted that Stabins might be dead and indicated that he was gravely ill. It also contained more negative statements about County Administrator David Hamilton, who Stabins has strongly criticized recently.

Stabins said Friday that he had been told there was some movement to contact Gov. Rick Scott and ask that he remove Stabins from office, but he didn't know who was behind it and he wanted to nip it in the bud.

Other commissioners this week expressed concern for their colleague saying they had noticed changes in his behavior even beyond his regular eccentricities. Audience members at Tuesday's meeting who read the e-mail voiced concerns that Stabins might be using alcohol or drugs or that he might have been staging some sort of stunt.

In his Friday e-mail he acknowledged that he needed to "clarify some rather strange behavior on my part'' and he explained how he got stranded in the Midwest by missing several flights leading up to Easter before finally getting to his parents' home in New York.

On his Rusty's Tale blog, Stabins posted late Friday that "The dumba-- email I sent Jim Adkins Tuesday morning ought to qualify me as the all time biggest jerk and lowest form of life, anywhere. I hope that anyone I offended or worried over the course of the previous week will forgive me.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.


County Commissioner Jeff Stabins' Friday e-mail:

Dear Friends,

I am writing you this email to clarify some rather strange behavior on my part earlier this week. I awoke very early on Tuesday, April 26th in my hometown of Watertown, New York. I had missed several flights over a very long holiday weekend and was suffering from stomach cramps and exhaustion. I wanted to notify the Chairman that I would be unable to attend that day's board meeting. The email I composed and sent was stupid and sophomoric. I apologize for worrying my friends and colleagues unnecessarily and for accidentally providing my enemies the fodder they so desperately need to try to have me removed from office by the Governor.

My health continues to improve on a daily basis. I have booked a flight back to Tampa for next Wednesday, May 4th. I look forward to reconnecting with many of you — the hundreds of wonderful county employees who toil day in and day out, and who I am proud to call my friends. We have many great challenges facing us in the days and weeks to come.

May God bless each of you and your families, and have a great weekend! You've earned it. See you on Thursday.


Jeff Stabins

Hernando commissioner apologizes to all county workers for 'stupid' e-mail 04/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 7:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'We were lucky': Zephyrhills, Dade City get back to normal after Irma


    Two weeks after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, residents and city officials in eastern Pasco — hit harder than other areas of the county — are moving forward to regain normalcy.

    Edward F. Wood, 70, tugs at a branch to unload a pile of debris he and his wife picked up in their neighborhood, Lakeview in the Hills in Dade City.
  2. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?


    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. What you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 21


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    Aaron Richardson Jr. talks to voices in his head at his father's bail bond business in St. Petersburg July 22, 2017. Richardson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was arrested for carjacking in 2011. He was declared incompetent to stand trial and moved between Florida State Hospital and Broward County Jail. While in custody he lost both his sight and hearing. He was released to his family in 2014 without an explanation. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  4. When elders are in peril, who do you call — 911 or Rick Scott's cell?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Twelve hours after Irma blasted through South Florida, conditions at Larkin Community Hospital in Hollywood were miserable.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, on Sept. 13 in Hollywood. So far, nine deaths have been blamed on the incedent. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  5. As spice incidents decline, Clearwater consultant suggests more coordinated services for street homeless

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The actual number of homeless people living in downtown streets and parks is not growing, as it has appeared to some city officials and business owners over the past five months, a hired consultant concluded this week.

    Members of the homeless population wait in line before they are fed a meal near the Clearwater Police Department headquarters in June.  EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times