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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office handling of deputies' affair might set precedent

Deputies' private life is just that | April 14 letter

Reaction to affair sets a precedent

The affair that took place between two consenting adults is something that needs to be worked out by the two of them. He cheated on his wife. She knew that he was married. The problem is they kept it up. Both individuals are now paying the price for this affair with the public, co-workers, friends, neighbors, spouse and parents finding out about this. Both Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies received a written reprimand in their files.

He said he was going to marriage counseling thereby showing that he is seeking help. It's hard to discharge someone for doing something wrong and then getting help. As for Amy White, not much can be said in her defense.

This unfortunate event is also considered "Conduct unbecoming an officer" and normally termination is already in effect. I have to wonder if Amy, as the daughter of Pasco Sheriff Bob White, and her lover are being treated like everyone else. A reprimand is good for everyone else as those who get caught in the future can say, "They did it and only got a letter."

Wesley Hawkins, Spring Hill

Attack deserves our attention

Another brutal attack on another woman in another subdivision. Neighbors are shocked and community becomes a bit more vigilant. Headlines grab our attention and conversations shift from American Idol for a moment. All the hype will die down.

Another brutal attack on another woman in another subdivision 20 years ago led to the formation of EPAR co-founded by a woman who stood above the conversation and led the community and politicians to action and secured legislation that changed the way Florida reacts to violent crimes against women and children.

What this community should focus on right now is the survival of the woman who was attacked. Survival, not victimization. Her example should remind us all that if one woman can survive then we as a community owe it to one another to join the survival and use our energy for positive change.

There were many indicators prior to the attack that went unnoticed and unreported. Law enforcement fights the crimes and legislation creates the penalties, but it is the community that is responsible for the prevention.

"I didn't know what to do" or other similar reasoning are poor excuses for community apathy. We are a good community and there is yet another heroine among us, but we have enough heroines. What we need is a heroic community that is not afraid to care about one another nor too afraid to become involved in conscience and intellect and compassion.

Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey

Bank's decision may prove costly

Regions Bank has done a huge disservice to the customers of the now defunct Aloha Utilities. The bank held in escrow almost $375,000 collected by Aloha as interim rate increases that were not ultimately granted to the utility. When Aloha was sold the escrow account, with the Florida Public Service Commission as one of the signatories, remained open.

Aloha contended the money belonged to the utility while the Office of Public Counsel contended it belonged to the customers. Rather than allowing the legal process to work out this disagreement, Regions Bank chose to release the funds to Aloha Utilities, without the signature of the Public Service Commission. That act in and of itself motivated me to request that the attorney general and the chief financial officer of Florida investigate Regions Bank for possible criminal wrongdoing.

I spoke to an administrator with Regions Bank last week and was told that the bank made a mistake by releasing the funds. After lengthy negotiations with the Public Service Commission, the bank and Aloha, the funds were restored to the escrow account.

Unfortunately, because the bank took this action and has filed a lawsuit asking that they be granted interpleader status, the bank will be able to collect legal fees from the escrow account, depleting even further whatever refund the customers might ever hope to receive.

It is disgraceful that Regions Bank chose to side with a single large customer at the expense of many smaller customers. If the bank had merely sat back and allowed the Public Service Commission and the judicial system to run its course, the escrow account would be intact and would be available, in full, if the customers were granted a refund. Instead, the bank has opened up the opportunity for the account to be drained by legal fees that should never have been incurred.

It is a sad day when a bank risks breaking the law by getting involved in something that it had no business getting into. It is a sadder day when that bank's customers and other residents of the surrounding community will have to pay the price for that action.

Mike Fasano, State Senator, District 11

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office handling of deputies' affair might set precedent 04/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:34pm]

    

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