Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another tale of bad Bean behavior; Hasn't Hillsborough had enough?

What else does Hills­borough County Administrator Pat Bean have to do before her bosses on the county commission say enough already?

Give herself and top staff another raise and then run through the halls of budget-strapped County Center yelling, "Let them eat cake?"

Give another speech like this week's lackluster and empty "vision'' statement — which sounded like a grown-up in a Charlie Brown cartoon — even after commissioners indicated her words could be critical to her future employment?

Or maybe refuse to say the words "under God" during the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of meetings? (Oh, wait — that only gets you in trouble at the Tampa City Council.)

In the latest you-can't-make-this-stuff-up tale out of county government, Bean admitted this week she authorized an employee to pull months of the county internal auditor's e-mails, which included information on ongoing investigations. Bean herself was audited for an eyebrow-raising raise she got.

Bean's explanation to Times reporter Bill Varian: She did it because she was feeling "under siege." But upon further reflection, she said, she did not actually read any of those e-mails.

Hmmm.

Okay, you're thinking, a public official in what's supposed to be a transparent, above-board body of government for the people, getting ready to root through the e-mails of someone who could hurt her politically?

What is going on over there?

Now throw in this detail: Someone in County Attorney Renee Lee's office reviewed some commissioners' e-mails, notably those of Kevin Beckner, using the key word search "FDLE." As in, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's investigation into raises for both Bean and Lee, as requested by — you guessed it — Commissioner Beckner. (Lee said someone else made the records request — she didn't know who — and her office complied.)

One more time: What is going on over there?

Yes, e-mails of government employees at work are generally public record, with some exceptions — like, say, those related to an ongoing audit or criminal investigation.

Also, the county has a policy that says if someone makes a public records request regarding an employee, that employee is informed.

And, you guessed it again: Subjects of the e-mail searches were not notified nor were the searches properly documented, leaving some commissioners understandably hot under the collar and using words like "trust" and "integrity" and "loss of confidence."

It's hardly the first time.

Bean has come under fire for a lack of vision in harsh economic times and for raises to herself and her top deputies. She has been hanging on by her fingernails — and notably hanging on to her six-figure salary — until her planned retirement in 2012.

Now, about what actually is going on over there: Hillsborough commissioners are now dealing with the critical and delicate issue of asking voters to pay for a major transportation package that includes light rail. This is a huge move for our future, not to mention an uphill battle.

And here we are, dealing with another embarrassing tale of the county administrator. Enough already, before we find out what Pat Bean does next.

Another tale of bad Bean behavior; Hasn't Hillsborough had enough? 03/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 5, 2010 6:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]