Sue Carlton, Columnist

Sue Carlton


My dad always said the Carltons were thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia, which makes me a bona fide Floridian going back generations. I grew up in Miami and landed in Tampa, a town that said “bland” to the world but turned out anything but. I live in an old bungalow in an old neighborhood with my husband and a very enthusiastic dog. I’ve covered everything - crime, courts, the homeless. I’ve come to love this place of outrages and injustices, history and culture, Deep South and café con leche, downtown growing up and a parade of political characters let’s just call interesting. And lucky me, I get to write about all of it three days a week.

The man who drives mayors (And yes, what happens in the car stays in the car)

Mike Victor, the man who drives Tampa mayors. [Photo courtesy of Ashley Bauman, City of Tampa]
Mike Victor is the Tampa cop who drives the city's mayors but tells no tales. He's seen so much he's thinking of a political future himself.

After a driver's murder, move fast to fix public buses

After the shocking murder of Hillsborough bus driver Thomas Dunn on his regular route, counties need to act now to protect employees. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times]
Thomas Dunn was murdered driving a bus route in Tampa, and already the county next door is acting to protect drivers. Sue Carlton says Hillsborough also needs to do all it can.

Why stop the renaming of Native American school mascots that don't reflect who we are now?

Hillsborough County School Board member Steve Cona says a proposal to rename several Native American school mascots — including at his former middle school — has hit him 'hard.' [Cona campaign]
That progressive plan to replace offensive mascot names in Hillsborough schools is on pause. Sue Carlton says school officials are missing a teachable moment.

In the Parkland massacre, being a coward is not a crime

Students walk past a memorial garden to the 17 slain in Parkland. [South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS]
An investigation says school Resource Officer Scot Peterson didn't do his duty when a madman opened fire. But arresting him, Sue Carlton says, is missing the point.

Why not broadcast school board workshops for the public's sake?

Yes, Hillsborough County school officials know how to do technology. So why not use it to include the public in their workshops? [OCTAVIO JONES | Times (2018)]
In Hillsborough County, people too busy to attend school board workshops can no longer see them on TV, which Sue Carlton says does nothing for public engagement.