Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Norm Roche wants explanation for being booted from affirmative action panel

Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche demanded an apology and retraction — or a deeper explanation — Saturday from commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala over her decision to remove him from a county panel that handles discrimination policy.

Latvala sent a one-sentence memo Friday revoking Roche's appointment to the Affirmative Action Committee, which oversees the human rights office of the county. Latvala said her decision was in response to statements Roche posted using an online alias on the website of the St. Petersburg Times, tampabay.com. The comments included remarks on race, gays and welfare recipients.

"I can only deduce that this action has been taken as a result of what I view to be misrepresentations contained in recent and unsubstantiated news reports in the St. Petersburg Times," Roche wrote. "The potential precedence this action signifies — based upon the presumed justification, and with respect to the board's operations as we move forward in addressing the many important challenges facing our county — is deeply concerning to me.

"In the interest of fairness, should my deduction of your justification for this action be inaccurate —I eagerly await your presentation to my office, a complete explanation for this action to include acceptable and applicable documentation that justifies this action at this time."

In an interview this week, Roche acknowledged that he posted comments on online news reports under the alias "Reality."

Besides barbs at other politicians, Reality wrote that St. Petersburg was unique in Pinellas in its number of "thug shootings" and "prostitutes beatings" and "social service recipients.''

In July 2010, when Roche was at the time running for a seat on the commission, Reality complained of "race pimps," concluding, "Whitie isn't to blame for your ignorance."

Reached Saturday, Latvala said she stood by her decision to remove Roche from the low-profile board, calling it the "chairman's prerogative." Her decision has been supported by Vice Chairman John Morroni, who is in line to succeed her as chairman in 2012.

Roche, who has defended the posts, did not respond to a message seeking comment Saturday.

Norm Roche wants explanation for being booted from affirmative action panel 11/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 19, 2011 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?

    Blogs

    The following is from the Miami Herald:

  2. GOP senators blink on a big chance to repeal 'Obamacare'

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated Wednesday they don't have the stomach to repeal "Obamacare" when it really counts, as the Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation undoing major portions of Barack Obama's law without replacing it.

    U.S. Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) talks with reporters as he walks to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington, DC. [Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
  3. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]
  4. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general

    Editorials

    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.