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Official defends father, self May 19 article

I will leave people to draw whatever conclusions they may about attorney Jeremiah Hawkes' use of a staff member of the 1st District Court of Appeal to assist in preparing court documents for a case that already was heard by that same court. However, I cannot leave unaddressed the final comments Mr. Hawkes made in the referenced article regarding charges leveled by the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) against his father, 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Paul Hawkes.

Jeremiah Hawkes stated, when defending himself and his father, "I think it really kind of demonstrates that this whole thing is a witch hunt."

A witch hunt, by definition, is an investigation to expose behavior based on slight or irrelevant evidence. By making this statement Jeremiah Hawkes has sullied the reputation of the Florida Supreme Court, the JQC and the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Florida Supreme Court is headed by one of the most respected jurists of our time, Chief Justice Charles Canady.The facts against Judge Paul Hawkes that were laid out in the media, before a legislative committee and by a full audit conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services prompted the JQC's investigation. Chief Justice Canady forwarded the CFO's audit and findings to the JQC without comment. To put it simply, Judge Paul Hawkes' behavior over the past few years led to the charges.

Jeremiah Hawkes' assertion of a so-called "witch hunt" just goes to show that he is unwilling to accept responsibility for his behavior. Rather than owning up to his wrongdoing when his father's alleged misconduct was revealed, he deflected to an imaginary "witch hunt." Mr. Hawkes should acknowledge his role in this case, as minor as it may be, and face the consequences, if any, that may come. The taxpayers deserve no less from a person in a position of public trust.

Mike Fasano

State Senator, District 11

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Critic's review is inconsistent - May 15 letter

Critic's review was on target

After reading the letter writer's critique on the Show Palace's rendition of "Sentimental Journey"and the blast at Barbara Fredricksen, I felt I had to answer.

First, she is a critic, and you will always find people who don't agree with her. It seems to me that the letter writer has a connection to Stage West or the director. I saw the show at Show Palace and found it to be very entertaining and remindful of those terrible times during World War II. Thank God for the USO. I don't know if the writer served during that time or at all, but you have to give the Show Palace credit for honoring that endeavor and those of us that stood for the freedoms that allowed the letter writer to say what he has.

I want to thank Ms. Fredricksen for her review and ask her to keep up the good work. The show was very entertaining, and the music had me wanting to get up and dance all the forgotten dances.

Charles Kleber, Spring Hill

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Deputy's action deserves praise

This is to thank Deputy Sheriff David Peltz for responding to an open container problem with panhandlers on U.S. 19 and Beacon Woods Drive in Hudson. His response to resolve the situation was swift and effective.

Drinking alcoholic beverages from open containers is prohibited but often ignored. When you hear of a pedestrian wandering onto U.S. 19 and being hit by a car, alcohol can be part of the problem. Then it becomes a problem for the motorist who was obeying the law, and it can become a nightmare if the pedestrian dies.

I recommend helping those in need through your religious or civic organizations, such as the Salvation Army. Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society come out to assist with food or clothing. Giving panhandlers cash, which they spend on alcohol, only contributes to the problem.

Bill Bunting, Hudson

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