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Political connections decided who got jobs in Pasco Sheriff's Office

Connections, not qualifications

I retired in August as legal assistant to the Pasco Sheriff's Office general counsel. I retired in good standing, having worked for three different sheriffs and many different attorneys. Thankfully, I was not included in the process to choose my replacement because I was appalled at the antics involved in making the decision.

The job description for the position was changed so that an applicant could qualify even though they did not have any advanced secretarial skills or legal experience. It was only when I saw who they hired that the motive for the changes became clear. The job description was dumbed down so the political crony could qualify for the job.

A bachelor's degree in liberal arts does not make someone a legal assistant or an experienced secretary, but being personally referred by Sen. Mike Fasano apparently does. Several experienced legal secretaries applied, but the fix was in, so they choose the one with no advanced secretarial skills or legal experience. A current Sheriff's Office employee with legal experience and a degree put in a transfer request, but she was never seriously considered. Perhaps this was because, to quote the Sheriff's Office attorney, Jeremiah Hawkes, "she would be politically beneficial to the sheriff." This statement was made to me in the presence of others.

In essence, coming from the Fasano/Rubio connection guarantees you a job at the Pasco Sheriff's Office even if you do not have the proper qualifications. If you aren't qualified, don't worry. They will change the job description to ensure you get the job. Any wonder why the employees at the Pasco Sheriff's Office feel they can't advance their careers? This is not the first time this has happened, but in my experience this was the most blatant example of why Sheriff's Office employees are considering a union.

It will be interesting to see how they'll spin this, but they will never change my opinion, I was there and I know the truth!

Carol A. Lentz, New Port Richey

Cut government and save money | Sept. 27 letter

County workers must struggle, too

This small-mined arrogant person should get her facts straight. Many county employees have lost their jobs and others have taken pay cuts just to keep jobs. Many county workers are paid much less than any of the surrounding counties.

Did you know Pasco County employees have not had a pay increase in two years? Yet the cost of living and health insurance still went up both years.

If you go to the Government Center, you will not see fancy cars and no one in this county flies for free. We do not live in big, fine homes like you think and if we do, we pay for it, not you.

County employees are like everyone else. We have car payments, mortgages, bills and other expenses and yes, we do pay taxes, like you.

We are no different than any other resident in Pasco County just because we work for the county government. The writer asked, do we really need them all? Yes, we do need them all.

E.M. Fredericks, Port Richey

Seniors need help with finances

Every week it seems the local power company seeks more rate increases from the public. Nobody gives a darn about the long-suffering plight of seniors' ever-dwindling income from retirement savings.

Nobody cares about seniors in this state. It is flooded with con artists who are cheating the gullible citizens. Nobody in government seems able or willing to go after these vultures except Sen. Mike Fasano.

Where are all the other supposed guardians of the senior citizens? Our retirement allotments are rapidly being depleted by the ever-present greedy corporations and their CEOs. They are wrecking our country with their never-ending greed.

Art Sicard, Port Richey

Residents don't want assessment

Pasco County commissioners are trying to push a paving assessment down the throats of homeowners on two streets in the Lake Padgett East subdivision, Land O' Lakes. This assessment has been voted down three times in the last several years by homeowners. Now it seems that we have no say so in the matter.

We were informed by certified mail of the proposed paving assessment PVAS 3043 that, if approved, would cost each one of us $3,664.44 and we have no vote in the matter. There is a workshop on Oct. 13 in Dade City to discuss this, and then a commission meeting at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 3 when the working people here will find it hard to attend a public hearing.

We are in the process of contacting all of the commissioners asking for a no vote on this project. One of our questions is why the county, a couple of years ago, put what they called a long patch that measured over a half-mile along Forest View Drive and did not assess anyone.

Now, both of our streets that border Forest View are only one-tenth of a mile or shorter, with 13 homes on one street and no homes on the other.

We feel the cost of $3,664.44 each is very unjust and unfair and we are being singled out because we defeated the county's last three tries to assess a paving deal on us. We feel this would put a financial burden on everyone due to the extreme bad economy and property values that have declined.

One inquiry we received back from one commissioner was: They did not know why the long patch was done, and also the price of asphalt was going down. Now, that is a great answer.

David K. Johnson, Land O'Lakes

Political connections decided who got jobs in Pasco Sheriff's Office 10/10/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:01am]
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