Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco code compliance manager quits after rebuke, talk of cuts

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County's code compliance manager abruptly resigned after receiving a nasty reprimand and hearing he would likely lose his job.

Dick Ortiz, who oversaw the code enforcement officers who respond to neighborhood complaints, such as high weeds and junk vehicles, said he learned his job would be cut during a 4 p.m. meeting last Friday. Ortiz, 60, filed a terse resignation memo effective at 5 p.m. that day — becoming the most prominent casualty as Pasco makes cuts to handle a budget shortfall later this year.

Chief Assistant County Administrator Michele Baker confirmed Thursday that Ortiz's job was targeted for cutting. The county faces a $31 million drop in tax revenue for its next budget. Every department has to come up with a 15 percent spending reduction — including Ortiz's, where there are supervisors already overseeing the officers in east and west Pasco.

"Lots of jobs are going to be eliminated," Baker said.

Ortiz, a frank, former cop earning $59,300 a year, joined the county four years ago, and leaves two years short of being fully vested for a pension. The county will pay him for his accrued leave time and benefits.

His last performance review had above average ratings, but Ortiz said the tone changed dramatically in January —the same month county officials revealed financial trouble.

His boss, zoning and code compliance administrator Debra Zampetti, ripped him for "inefficiency" and "incompetence" in a Jan. 12 reprimand. She wrote that he lacked adequate knowledge of county codes.

That was just the first half page.

Otherwise, Zampetti criticized Ortiz for undermining her authority, making "false or malicious statements" about her and co-workers and holding a "secret meeting." And failing to follow instructions.

Ortiz called it balderdash.

"She was setting me up," Ortiz said Thursday, calling it "an alibi to start cutting people."

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6232.

Pasco code compliance manager quits after rebuke, talk of cuts 02/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Scaramucci publicly airs grievances at White House

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of staff to deny he's a "leaker" and exposing West Wing backstabbing in language more suitable to a mobster movie than a …

    Chief of staff Reince Priebus was called a “paranoid schizo?phrenic.”
  2. Crist votes for measure that includes money for Trump's wall

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Charlie Crist was for it and against it.

  3. Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday in the death of Yasmine L. Tyson on Monday night.

    Christopher Lee Carithers, 37, of Tampa
  4. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

    A $900,000 DOT grant will finance two more trolleys, a longer route and longer service hours.
  5. Latest sewage crisis fallout: Higher utility bills in St. Pete

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months the cost of the city's sewage crisis has been measured in terms of environmental damage, legal ramifications and political repercussions.

    Now residents are about to get the bill.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage during the height of the city's sewage crisis. Now the City Council is considering how much to raise utility rates to pay the $326 million bill to fix St. Petersburg's sewage system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]