Issue #75 — Friday, August 15, 2014
by Naja and Arnaud Girard…….
8:30 on a Saturday morning. It’s already hot and with no AC in the car it’s going to get a whole lot hotter by the time we get into Miami.
At her mother’s tiny apartment on Olivia Street, Mary Annuylsse is getting 3-year old Kaeden Murphy ready to go see his dad, Matthew, at Jackson Memorial Hospital. As we reported in previous articles, Matthew Murphy has been stuck in a hospital bed ever since he was tased by a Key West police officer on April 16, 2011. We’d been told he was unable to walk, speak, or eat on his own, but that he could communicate by blinking his eyes. We are in for the ride.
I have recently reported that I was filing an ethics complaint with the State of Florida against George Neugent. It charges him with using his power as County Commissioner to affect the awarding of a contract to his friends. At the August 4 Hometown PAC candidates’ forum, he charged me twice with “slander” when questioned about my reporting.
Neugent is thus forcing me to make public the full complaint that I have mailed to the state ethics commission. While the commission by its charter must keep its investigation confidential until resolved, they explicitly state that either the filer or subject of the complaint may say anything they want about it.
The complaint itself is 2,800 words long, accompanied by 16 exhibits adding another 50 pages. You may read as much of it as you wish. The exhibits are public records and Neugent’s own words: emails, media quotes, transcripts of county commission meetings, and his sworn deposition in the county’s years-long losing litigation against SUFA.
On June 14th this year George Neugent wrote his notarized signature on an “OATH. I the person whose name appears at the beginning of this form, do depose on oath or affirmation and say that the information disclosed on this form . . . is true, accurate, and complete.” It is his Form 6, “Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interest.” All declared candidates for office must file it. It is a public record, created for all the world to read and judge.
Neugent’s is rife with errors. One would think anyone running for a position commanding a billion dollar budget would be able to fill out simple financial forms, a form designed to describe himself to the world. What he discloses is, I believe, “true,” but makes no attempt to be “accurate and complete.”
Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.
Rita F. Pierson spent her entire life in or around the classroom, having followed both her parents and grandparents into a career as an educator.
Why you should listen