Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough commissioner sends late-night e-mail blasting county office

TAMPA — The economy's in the tank. Employers — even governments — are laying off people by the hundreds.

And then you learn your boss has sent out a late-night e-mail describing your office's work in excremental terms.

That's exactly what happened a few weeks ago. The author: Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan.

The focus of his ire: efforts by County Attorney Renee Lee's office to resolve issues involving Hagan's pet project, the Carrollwood Cultural Center.

"Jump on this first thing," Hagan wrote to his aide, Rich Reidy. "The ccc should not be penalized for the sh---- work of the county attys office … see what you can do, and do what you have to."

The time: 1:15 a.m., Friday, June 13.

Reidy did jump on it first thing, sending a 7:20 a.m. e-mail to Lee's chief deputy, sharing Hagan's original message and noting the "time and tone."

The county has contracted with a nonprofit group to run the cultural center, which the county built and opened in February. The nonprofit wants to be able to sell alcohol there for special occasions, like weddings, to help offset costs.

That requires an ordinance change. County Administrator Pat Bean had told Hagan the day before that an absence in Lee's office had delayed when the item could appear before the board for approval. It had been scheduled for June but has been pushed back a month.

As a commissioner, Hagan is one of Lee's seven bosses. He is, in fact, chairman of the board.

Hagan was not available Wednesday to comment on the e-mail, obtained through a public records request. But he relayed a response through Reidy.

"Obviously he was frustrated, not only at the hour, but at the apparent lack of urgency demonstrated by the county attorney's office when earlier he had been advised it was going to be on a June agenda," Reidy said. "And we only found out about the delay through the constituents."

Lee said her office is not to blame. The ordinance in question is going through several changes, which several departments have to review.

And she said she doesn't believe Hagan's e-mail represents a broader assessment of her office's work.

"I think if it was, I'd hear it from the board or from him," Lee said. "The commissioner's not shy about sharing his feelings."

Bill Varian can be reached at or (813) 226-3387.

Hillsborough commissioner sends late-night e-mail blasting county office 06/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, June 27, 2008 5:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.