Response to Around Here article
There is nothing personal between me and Mayor Arbutine. If Leo did ANY tangible research, he would find I first filed charges some six months PRIOR to the election, not after I lost the election as a "sore loser". Leo keeps trying to create a personal rift where this is none. I simply have a problem with any politician that breaks the laws of their city, county and state and has no regard for honesty or ethical behavior. Arbutine paid an expensive attorney for a creative defense and beat the system exploiting the loophole at the Commission on Ethics where they don't allow for cross examination during an investigation. Good or bad, that is the way the system works. OJ Simpson also beat the system, but I missed Leo's article championing him.
Besides the point Leo's facts were incorrect in his article, he missed the biggest story from the Bluffs commission meeting. After Mayor Arbutine urged the commission to pass a resolution to reimburse elected officials for legal defense, he attempted to recoup money not only from his defense, but from additional attorney's bills not related directly to his defense from the Bluffs taxpayers immediately after that resolution was passed. The only problem was his request was in direct violation of the resolution they just passed. Only after being questioned by Commissioner Taylour Shimkus did both he and the city attorney admit it didn't fall within the confines of that resolution. To suggest that my wife is a stand in for me is just plain silly, if Leo attended any commission meeting he would see that she does more research and brings up more valid points than any other member of that commission. She does HER homework, not mine and does a great job. In fact, she probably saved the city expense and embarrassment by speaking up against awarding money in violation of the law. Thank goodness Commissioner Suzy Sofer made a motion to table the subject and not award any money illegally. Please go to the Belleair Bluffs city hall and listen to the tape of the meeting for yourself, don't take my word for it just because it is in the paper.
I have known Leo for years and consider him to be a good guy and a friend, but a true friend has the courage to speak up when something is wrong with the other. Leo you need to have a retirement luncheon at one of the fine local restaurants. I'll buy.
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