Sunday, May 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: PHCC defends hiring practices

In recent weeks, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis questioned me regarding James Nagy's employment at Pasco-Hernando Community College. Their concerns were taken seriously and I immediately launched an investigation that included a diligent analysis of official documents, including internal affairs reports. Upon completion of our investigation and prior to the Aug. 18 publication of "Doubts arise over instructor" in the Times, I advised both sheriffs that the college had no grounds to dismiss Mr. Nagy.

PHCC relies, in part, on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's secure online database that provides current employment and certifications standings for officers and instructors. The college also depends on the FDLE's Bureau of Standards to evaluate internal affairs investigations and related case information to determine if moral character violations have occurred, if grounds for disciplinary action exist, and to complete the disciplinary process as required by Florida statute and Florida Administrative Code.

According to the FDLE, after 23 years of service with the Pasco Sheriff's Office, Mr. Nagy resigned/retired in January 2011 while being investigated for violations of agency policy. In October 2011, Mr. Nagy was hired by the Tarpon Springs Police Department and administratively terminated from that agency in March 2012. This termination did not involve misconduct, according to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

The FDLE reviewed Mr. Nagy's internal affairs investigation report during his employment in Tarpon Springs and determined no basis for action because the alleged misconduct was not sustained. The Bureau of Standards recommended the case be closed due to a lack of evidence. Additionally, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the matter, also citing a lack of evidence.

When hiring internal candidates, PHCC's screening committees review the college's employment records. An adjunct for the law enforcement academy since 1992, Mr. Nagy's PHCC personnel files document outstanding employment reviews and positive student evaluations that underscore his administrative and classroom skills.

Policies approved by the college's board of trustees and college procedures enable PHCC to operate effectively and to practice — without political influence — fair employment, discipline and termination practices. Mr. Nagy will continue to work in his part-time position at the college unless evidence is produced that clearly proves a claim of misconduct; he violates college policies or procedures; fails to perform his duties as assigned; or otherwise fails to meet college standards.

I assure the community that our academy provides appropriate training and our program is reviewed, evaluated and certified through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, and we retain qualified law enforcement officers and instructors certified by those agencies.

Dr. Katherine M. Johnson, president, Pasco-Hernando Community College


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18