Hillsborough County Commissioners could do something (but they won’t)
By Chris Ingram
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White’s sexual harassment case finally appears like it will be settled by the county. The county has agreed to pay $278,000 to White’s victim and her attorneys. I think this is the right thing to do as it limits the potential for any further costs borne to taxpayers already on the hook for well over $500,000 for the county’s legal bills for defending White.
And while the county should move on and count its blessings that White’s libido didn’t cost taxpayers even more, the commission needs to do something to get rid of Mr. White who refuses to resign.
White’s insistence to stay on the commission (and to seek reelection next year) demonstrates his arrogance, selfishness, and his view that his constituents are too dumb to send him packing. His self-serving nature is bad enough. That he has cost the county nearly a million bucks is what voters should be appalled at. The nearly million bucks his actions will ultimately cost the county could have bought the sheriff’s office twenty patrol cars, or funded the county’s contribution to the Tampa Boys and Girls club for eleven years, or the NACCP Empowerment Center for sixty-six years! You get the point…
While Florida Governor Charlie Crist has the authority to remove White from office, Charlie does not have the leadership skills or backbone to remove him (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to find some fault in Chuckles); and unfortunately the county commission legally cannot remove him. Voters could organize a petition drive to recall White, but that seems unlikely to occur.
But there is something the commission could do that would likely lead to White withdrawing as a candidate next year.
The county should consider passing the following ordinance or binding resolution:
Any newly elected official who is elected to any paid position within Hillsborough County who, prior to being elected to a new term was the cause of an award for monetary damages in any civil suit which the county was wholly or partially liable for will not receive compensation for his or her elected office until such time as the county’s portion of said legally liable monetary debt has been fully repaid to the county.
This will certainly cause White to re-think running again. White is not a rich man and more than likely very much needs his $91,000 county commissioner’s salary to pay whatever living expenses smug, arrogant and loathsome elected officials have. If White thought for a moment his “job” as county commissioner was going to mean zero pay, I’d betchya’ he’d start looking for a new career tomorrow.
Note to the Board of County Commissioners: when taking this issue up, please add language addressing the same effect (no pay) to anyone who gets an appointed position, contract, or anything else of monetary value from the county. As you know, White is a real weasel and will no doubt try to find some way to keep living off the dime of taxpayers, so let’s cover all the bases.
And one more thing, don’t give me the reason you can’t do this is because it wouldn’t stand a court challenge. Who cares? Government does things that don’t withstand court challenges all the time. And besides, White doesn’t have the money to challenge it. So please, just do the right thing and pass this resolution so we can all get rid of Kevin White once and for all.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.