Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In circuit judge race, Jamey Moody and Robin Fuson are stretching campaign restrictions

Negative campaigning is rare in judicial races because of strict legal limits, but it's popping up in the circuit judge race between Robin Fuson and Jamey Moody.

The Moody campaign has posted a website and is running an ad calling attention to allegations — false, according to Fuson — that he was once fired as a Hillsborough substitute teacher for allowing students to watch a porn film in a classroom and was demoted as an assistant state attorney for improper case management.

Backers of Fuson, meanwhile, have spread word that Moody may have violated campaign rules for judges by touting support from state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. Judicial candidates aren't supposed to associate their campaigns with parties or partisan candidates.

Moody is the brother of Ashley Moody, GOP candidate for attorney general.

Jamey Moody is a candidate for Hillsborough Circuit Court judge.

Fuson, who worked odd jobs including substitute teaching while starting a professional baseball career in the 1980s, said he, in fact, prevented a group of students in a classroom from loading a porn film one of them had brought from home into a projector in a secluded part of a classroom. Later, he said, he got a letter from the school district saying it "has been reported" that they watched the film.

They couldn't have, Fuson said. The film didn't fit the projector.

Fuson, by then in Arizona for spring training, said he asked his father to look into it, kept his teaching certificate, and later was approved as a volunteer high school baseball coach after school district background checks.

Fuson, a division chief under the late State Attorney Harry Coe, was demoted in a reorganization by incoming State Attorney Mark Ober after Fuson backed Coe against Ober, according to Fuson's personnel file. Fuson said documents from the file posted on the website misrepresent the circumstances under which he later resigned.

Moody, who has publicly mentioned Lee as a backer, says that doesn't violate rules for judicial campaigning because he doesn't say Lee has "endorsed" him.

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