Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 17, 2006

To the right: Wired Witches International Strike Force and Quilting Bee, which picketed the SP Times and Pinellas ACLU for sexism: the Times's masthead male locker room; the ACLU's refusal to defend women going into abortion clinics from the crazies but taking the case of a one-legged man's right to dance in public places. I am not making this up.

From lower right to upper right: Andrea, Lee, Margie,
Dr. Constantina, Dr. Judy, Carol, and Dee, the Wired Witches Valkyries.
August 21, 2006

Mr. Hegarty:
  • Who was in charge of the buses and purchasing before Dr. Hamilton was hired for the busing-and-purchasing-boss job?
  • What was the title of that bus-purchasing job?
  • Why did the administration announce that Dr. Hamilton got the job before there was a job description?
  • Did you send out ads so people could apply for this job?
  • Who has taken over Dr. Hamilton's job?
  • What exactly were that Dr. Hamilton's previous job duties?
  • What did the superimposed "Dr. Otero" over Dr. Hamilton's name in handwriting that appeared on the Web staff web list for a long time mean?
  • Did it mean they shared the same job?
  • Did Dr. Hamilton share these duties for half the salary each with Dr. Otero?
  • Or did each get a salary undiminished by their sharing the same job so that the taxpayers paid double for one job?
  • If the previous is correct, what is the written rationale for the administration's double-charging the taxpayers?
  • Did the Hillsborough administration's job magic for Dr. Hamilton operate the same as Linda Kipley's "transfer" from her failed (that's what I hear) principalship of my alma mater Hillsborough High School?
  • Why do you think that I judge Home-ec equipped Linda Kipley not deserving of licking the boots of Mr. Vivian Gaither, scholar-and gentleman principal when I attended HHS?
  • How do the maneuvers of these round-chairs job switches fulfill the repeated mantra on the Web pages of Hillsborough County's School Board being an "equal-opportunity" employer?
  • What is the Board's understanding of the meaning of the term "equal opportunity employer"?
  • How many people so far have applied for Dr. Hamilton's old job (the one on which Dr. Otero's name is superimposed in handwriting on the Web)?
  • Does the record show that the Board approved of these multitude of exotic job morphologies and dynamics?
  • I have not yet received my application form--despite four previous requests- for the boutique Hamilton newly awarded job with the title of "Chief Enforcement Officer" of the School System," my believing that I am uniquely qualified to be the schools' enforcement officer since I am a particular favorite of all the Board members and a notorious pet of Ms. Elia, ready and able to advise her on how to lose enough weight to move her out of the obesity category, advice which involves seeing her mouth shut.
  • May I have that "Chief Enforcer" form to apply to be it?"
  • Haven't I asked for that form before?
  • Do you think I have lost count because I have asked you for the job-ap for Ultimate Enforcer so many times?
  • Should I review Goebbels's career path to prep for the interview of Maximum Enforcer?
  • Why do the bus drivers and the purchasing-department need an "Enforcement" officer?
  • Are they engaged in espionage that requires reigning in?
  • Have any of the local newspapers asked the employment department, the administration, or the Board how they can practice "equal opportunity" and create a brand-new job for Dr. Hamilton and call it a "transfer"?
  • Have administration and Board asked for an explication de texte of the job's title from the EEOC and how it lines up with Title VII?
  • What was the Board's official response?
  • Did any of the Board say that its members had to create a new job for Dr. Hamilton because refused to retire and give up his Zeus status so has been bivouacking in Dr. Otero's office?
  • Has Connie Mileto, previously kindergarten scholar, now $120,000 lobbyist with Dr. Hamilton's help, sent Dr. Hamilton a dozen red roses for getting his job as shed did without real competition?
  • Has Dr. Hamilton's wife, who divorced him during the Mileto maneuver of her job leap, offered to give him a character reference to ensure his getting a new job manufactured out of thin air and before its acquiring even a job description and with no advertisement, hence, no competition?
  • May I have permission to pose more Government-in-the-Sunshine questions as they occur to me since my synapses have just burned out temporarily ?
lee drury de cesare, interested citizen with ambitions of become a Board employee
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
leedrurydecesarescasting-room couch.blogspot.com

August 20th: In today's Boston Globe is article on testing motivates more teachers to cheat: It's copyrighted, so go to the Boston Globe online and check the following:

More teachers accused of cheating

Analysts say rise reflects growing MCAS pressure

Media Specialist Bart Birdsall (with a guest blog below) and former teacher challenged the vicious treatment he received when Elia lauched a witch hunt against him to propitiate Joe Stines's grudge against Bart for writing him critical emails from his home computer. Kipley came up with a Professional Standards gauntlet that backfired on her and Elia.

Birdsall and Stines are both gay, but Stines is a Roy Cohen who participated in the Ronda homophobic ordinance that shut gays out of full participation in the library.

The administration ghouls stay clear of Bart now. He fought back. They only pick on weaklings who won't fight back. Don't be a weakling. Go to Bart with your problem to challenge bad treatment. The administration lawyer, Mr. Gonzalez, has assured me that he will not allow anyone suffer punishment for reporting ill treatment.

Get in touch with Bart at school or me at tdecesar@Tampabay.rr.com.

We will help you fight Elia and the Board when they beat up on you, thinking you are a coward. Don't let them get away with that despicable conduct. Resist it. And expect little help from CTA. Its officers won't reveal their salaries and are in bed with the administration. Lee

From: Montolino@aol.com [mailto:Montolino@aol.com]

Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:11 PM

To: MaryEllen.Elia@sdhc.k12.fl.us

Cc: candy.olson@sdhc.k12.fl.us; Carol.kurdell@sdhc.k12.fl.us; carolyn.bricklemyer@sdhc.k12.fl.us; doretha.edgecomb@sdhc.k12.fl.us; susan.valdes@sdhc.k12.fl.us; jennifer.faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.us; jack.lamb@sdhc.k12.fl.us; tdecesar@tampabay.rr.com; nadine@eqfl.org; kdoering@nclrights.org; kgraham@sptimes.com; lstein@sptimes.com; hooper@sptimes.com; mholan@tampatrib.com
Subject: Parent Signatures for clubs

Dear Superintendent Elia:

I do not agree with your idea of parental signatures of permission before a student enrolls in a club as reported in the Tampa Tribune today.

In the case of a GSA,the very students who may need the club most will decide not to join in order to avoid letting his/her parent know he/she is gay. Without the support of fellow club members and support the club provides,he/she might commit suicide. Some of these students will not and can not receive support from home on this issue, and the GSA is a life-saver for some of them. I have spoken to many kids who have been thrown out of their homes the very minute their parents find out they are gay:thrown out with no where to go. I find it shocking that you do not seem to understand this, or maybe you do not care.

I find it shocking that Michael Freincle has a better grasp of this issue than you do and that Logan Cobb, a 17 year old, is a better candidate for school board than a 12-year incumbent is. It is shocking that the youth are so much more in touch with 21st-century issues, ideas. and values. They will make history as history forgets you.

I have a national climate survey that I received in Denver, and I plan to provide this for your perusal as I will also purchase copies of Kevin Jennings' new book *Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son: A Memoir* for you and the school board soon so that you can read about what it is like to grow up gay in public schools and grow up denigrated and made to feel worthless.

Kevin Jennings is a personal hero and friend of mine, and he will go down in history for having stood up for himself and many others on this issue (which is still an unpopular topic down in the South). He does not do this for himself. He does it for others. His life has been spent making the world better for others.

It is the same vision I have. I do nothing for personal gain (I have parents and a partner with plenty of money, and I need nothing more in life. I am not out for money or to climb any ladders or to make any friends). Every single thing I do in life, and every single choice I make is to help others (mostly young people) and to make the world a better place for the next generation. I want it to be normal to discuss gay issues as important issues in Hillsborough County.

Ronda, Brad Swanson, etc., try to make the gay issue a negative thing. I believe it can be a positive thing. My partner of 15 years is working in Chicago currently, and he says there are so many positive and supportive allies to gays up in Chicago. I have been offered a tentative job up there that pays double what the 10 years of service with a Master's teacher pay down here is. Too bad it is so cold up there.

I wish you would start thinking of others and future generations and the legacy you could leave behind (only progressive stances that slowly become mainstream leave legacies behind: consider that), and I wish you would not think constantly about how to make yourself look better or how to make sure you will not be sued or the district won't be sued, etc. etc.

Look into the faces of the young people, listen to them, and do what you know is right. Take chances. Take risks. To me, it is the only way to live. Playing the political game and playing it safe to cover yourself are both selling out and do not show leadership. Leadership requires vision and making the world better. Kevin Jennings is a leader.

Kevin Jennings went from a trailer park to the halls of Washington, D.C., where he advised Bill Clinton, who was President at the time on gay issues and schools. This was a man who ate lunch by himself in the hallways of his school to avoid being harassed. He once told me that not one person would sit next to him at lunch. He vowed to make the world a better place for others like himself. That shows courage and strength that most people will never experience. Even if you and the school board showed one iota of the courage that this man has shown throughout his life, you would not even come close to touching him in the courage department.

The Tampa Tribune editorial page recently (Monday) commended me on my challenging the district on gay/lesbian issues. I think this is an extraordinary achievement of mine since the Trib is so conservative. It made my day and made me very happy that I was being commended for helping gay kids. I put a copy in my file of newspaper clippings that I plan to keep my whole life and peruse and laugh and say, "You were something else, Bart!"

I believe gay issues should be commendable things and they are. Hillsborough County just hasn't come into the 21st century yet. You could help lead the way into the 21st century if you wanted. Think of your legacy and whether you want a place in history.

Kevin Jennings will go down in history. If you take some risks and support gay kids, you will too, but you won't if you don't have that kind of vision. Going down in history always involves risk. It is thrilling to be a part of a movement that is making history.

I think you should drop the parental signature thing. I believe it will backfire on you somehow. I just have a gut feeling about it. I think it's a big mistake. I will ask Kevin Jennings what he thinks about this parental signature idea, and if he knows if it has been implemented in other school districts. He graduated from Harvard and is one of the most courageous men I have known in my life. I respect his opinion. I bet he says the parental signature idea is not an intelligent concept.

Bart Birdsall
2309 W. Bristol Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 258-8817 (home)
(813) 362-7937 (cell)

August 16, 2006

To the right: collage of Wired Witches' International Task Force and Quilting Bee: bottom: me, Andrea Brunais, columnist for La Gaceta's "The Story Teller"; top: Dr. Constantina Bailley, Eckerd College professor; Dr. Judith Hamilton Comnes, HCC professor; Carol, shop owner; Dee Yontek, CASA victims' advocate


August 16th

Ms. Elia, this is to remind you to add Cathy Valdez and the guy who heads computers (Davis?) to the list of questionable hires.

Ms. Valdez's job got no advertising; ditto Mr. Davis's, and he has no computer degree. He was apparently another buddy hire. So was Valdez. The bona fide occupational qualification for all these $100,ooo jobs is the ability to suck up. Jimbo Hamilton's is in another category: his is a This-is-your-life slot that morphs into a new job when he hunkers down in his successor's office and refuses to vacate the premises.

I recommend the Board consult his former wife on his habits and spore--the wife whom he lit out on and who divorced him during the throes of his much-discussed adventure in the equal-opportunity hiring of La-la Connie Mileto, kindergarten scholar extraordanaire and ROSSAC belle a-gogo.

The mistreated wife can outline his habitual schedule so that the Rossac janitors can lock the doors against him before he enters the building.

If just one Board member had the guts to question this featherbedding job's fulfilling the schools' equal opportunity pledge, people would take encouragement. But there is not one bold voice, not one, on the Board which dares or cares enough to protect the school family and not kowtow to the dumbasses who run the administration. Why, in God's name, did they run for the jobs if they do not use to better children's and teachers' opportunities? A grifter like Ms. Elia--worse even than Earl the Pearl--besmirches education's high purpose. And this Board picked her.


Ms. Elia: This is the 3rd request from me for you and the Board to send me an application form or to describe the application procedure so that I can apply for the apparently unadvertised job that you and the Board created for Dr. James Hamilton.

I believe its prodigious name is Chief Enforcement Officer of the school system. I am concerned that I have not yet had a chance to apply for a job whose alluring title suggests me to be the ideal candidate.

The public-information information I came by said that you had already awarded the job to Dr. Hamilton before you had even devised a job description for the employment perch for the cozened gentleman. The creation of a boutique job for Dr. Hamilton before you formulate its duties represents an advance in arrogant daring over your previous mere ignoring of the equal-opportunity laws that you profess to follow.

I would also like a copy of the job ad that the equal-opportunity laws that you profess to follow requires. You must promulgate an ad for the job to let people know such a newly created job as Chief Enforcement Officer for the schools is in the offing so that they can apply. I want to know the names of the hiring venues in which you advertised this lavishly compensated $132,000 job: the names of the periodicals, newspapers, etc. in which the ad for Chief Enforcement Officer for the Hillsborough County schools. I want a copy of the the ads.

I would as well like to know the current number of applications for this specially created job that you and the Board have awarded to Dr. Hamilton prematurely. This awarding of jobs and even creating them for a buddy who resists retiring as does Dr. Hamiltin, one hears, models a hiring process that ignores Title VII and the equal-opportunity provisions of the schools' federal funds. It also negates the administration's and Board's repeated statements that the School Board and administration are equal-opportunity employers.

The hiring of Connie Mileto and Linda Kipley are signal cases of this questionable hiring process of the Board and administration, one must infer.Both women were singular recruits for the currently $120,000 jobs they acquired without competition. Ms. Mileto reputedly got her job with Dr. Hamilton's especial help about the time of his unfortunate divorce if rumor be correct. One hears that the administration extracted Ms. Kipley from her unsatisfactory job of principal at Hillsborough High School, my alma mater, and inserted into the Professional Standards slot to solve the administrative problem Ms. Kipley's principalship displacement presented. One must credit rumors surrounding the Mileto-Kipling hiring since public-information request meet a determined effort to withhold the information from the public.

I see other states take such exotic hiring practices seriously. I think the Attorney General prosecuted the case of patronage hiring against the state's governor below. The governor doesn't go to trial until he's out of office: that situation would cover the Board members in Hillsborough County. But apparently it would not cover administrators involved in patronage hiring, another label for the the hiring of pets or buddies for high-level administration jobs.

Ruling Postpones Trial Of Kentucky Governor

By Theo Emery

Special to The Washington PostSaturday, August 12, 2006; Page A03
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), who was indicted earlier this year for alleged patronage hiring, cannot be prosecuted while in office, a judge ruled yesterday.

lee drury de cesare

I met with the local EEOC representative to clarify my knowledge of filing requirements recently. I don't think I am wrong in the above inferences of the Hillsborough County School Board and your administration's exotic hiring practices violates Title VII.

lee drury de cesare

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.
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Discussion Thread
Response (Tamara LaMartina)
07/10/2006 12:14 PM
Dear Lee Drury De Cesare,Thank you for your email. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age (40 or older), religion, or disability.

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. Do you believe you are being discriminated against for the laws stated above?If you want us to investigate your complaint, you need to file a charge.

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases).

Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered. Our role in an investigation is to fairly and accurately assess the allegations in the charge and then make a finding.You cannot file a charge over the telephone; however, you can begin the charge intake process by calling our National Contact Center (NCC) at 1-800-669-4000. The information obtained by the NCC will be sent to a field office in your area. After field office staff conducts an interview with you, they will send you a completed charge form (Form 5) for your signature. Alternatively, you may send a letter or fax to the nearest EEOC field office with the following information:•

Your name, address, and telephone number•

The name, address and telephone number of the employer (or employment agency or union) you want to file your charge against•

The number of employees employed by the company in all locations or number of union members (if known)•A short description of the events you believe were discriminatory (for example, you were fired, demoted, harassed)•Provide dates of when the events took place•Why you believe you were discriminated against and on what basis (for example, because of your race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, and/or disability)•Your signatureIf you decide to send a fax or letter, you must sign it in order for EEOC to continue. If you don’t sign it, we cannot go forward. You should mail or fax the signed letter to:EEOC Tampa Field Office501 East Polk Street, Suite 1000Tampa, FL 33602Fax: 813-228-2841Our laws give you a limited time to file a charge.

In the State of Florida, you need to file a charge within 300 days from the day the discrimination took place. Remember you have not filed a charge until you have signed a sworn document with the field office.If you have further questions or wish to discuss this with a customer service representative, please call 1-800-669-4000 anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Central Time, Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, the TTY number is 1-800-669-6820.Sincerely,Tamara LaMartinaEqual Employment Opportunity CommissionPhone: (800) 669-4000TTY: (800) 669-6820FAX: (703) 997-4890 Email: info@ask.eeoc.govwww.eeoc.gov
Customer (Lee Drury De Cesare)

07/06/2006 11:00 AM
http://www.leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcounch.blogspot.com.School Board routinely violates Title VII in hiring while posting "EqualOpportunity Employer" on its web pages.

07/06/2006 11:00 AM
Question: Answer: This automated response confirms receipt of your inquiry. We will further respond to your request within 2 business days

Question Reference #060706-000540
EEOC Overview
Date Created:
07/06/2006 11:00 AM
Last Updated:

07/10/2006 12:14 PM
Employer Zip Code:

All Board Members and Ms. Elia:

Can y'all describe the employment protocol you used to give Dr. Hamilton a job after he had camped out in Dr. Otero's office and refused to retire?

How can you hire a person for a job that has no description on the books and is just a gleam in the eye of Dr. Hamilton?

What excuse covers the suspicion that this is a make-work featherbedding berth that taxpayers must foot the bill for because Ms. Elia and the Board didn't have the guts to tell Le Hamilton to retire as he is due to do because he can't face the loss of his grand Pooh-bah status in the school system?

The job had no description. None. The statement below says so. Did you advertise it as Title VII says you should, even though it's a Hamilton boutique job with no description and no cited credentials? And please don't haul out that old chestnut to justify this skullduggery: lateral transfer.

Send me an application. I want to apply for that job. This is a formal request. I'm dead serious. If I don't get my application papers, I can then file a Title VII charge because you have not given me the chance to qualify for this made-for-Le-Hamilton job.

I have a life-time record that is coincident with being the best enforcer the school system will have ever experienced. Compared to my enforcement credentials, girly boy Hamilton is a weenie.

If you don't give me an application, I shall also contact the Age Discrimination Act feds as well to file a complaint.

If Hamilton can park his geezer carcass in an office with subsidization by us hapless ,ripped-off taxpayers stuck with the price because the Board does not look out for the public's and the students' interests , then I can too. I am older than Hamilton, but I am cuter and four times smarter.

I will donate my salary to funding those poor kids' supplies who now can't participate in their classes because they lack supplies.

Please forward me the application for this Chief Enforcer sinecure. I wish to apply and urge you to advertise the job and let others apply. Unlike Hamilton, I thrive on competition.

Advertising jobs is what you are supposed to do when your Web site and all stationery
has "Equal Opportunity Employer" blazoned on it. Have you asked your attorney, Le Gonzalez,
to give you a seminar with flash cards about what this eqaul-opportunity pledge involves in terms of the law--what Title VII says you have to do to ensure equal opportunity in employment? If you don't advertise this job--once you get it formulated, to be sure, whever that occurs-- then there will be a whole bunch of people eligible to file Title VII charges if dead-wood Hamilton gets the job without people's being able to apply for it.

Anybody knows that to solve the bus-driver "crisis," you give them a living wage and treat them like human beings. As for the purchasing "crisis," any mother such as I who has run a household for years--51 in my case--with a large pantry can solve that so-called giant purchasing problem in the blink of an eye. Just give us homemakers the inventory, what's needed, and what's not; we will clean up that little wrinkle in three days--no, make that two.

I look forward to receiving my application for Chief Enforcer of the Entire System. My bona fides will blow Hamilton out of the water.

And don't dare send the staff person--who did her job and provided public information promptly about the Hamilton job swindle-- to Lucco Brazzi Kipley for the usual torture in the Professional Standards cell block. Mr. Gonzales, Esquire, has pledged as an officer of the court that people who get turned in to the Abu Gharib Lucco Brazzi Kipley for torture for doing their jobs will have his protection. Keep in mind that Mr. Gonzalez has a black belt in legal lore and will be hard to slap around like the underlings of the school system. Besides, he's Hispanic and can file a challenge with the Florida Ethics commission for minority slapping around by thugs in charge of Hypocrisy 101 at the School Board.

Don't forget: send my application for Maximum Enforcer. I am dying to fill it out and return it to you fans of Hannibal Hamilton. I want my office curtains to be pink Pricillas. Pink Pricillas are my signature.

Lee Drury De Cesare

Just as I said in my ethics charge against Elia and the Board to the Florida Ethics Commission, the administration and Board conjured that job for Dr. Hamilton out of thin air. Nothing demonstrates contempt for tax payers and contempt for the Board than Elia and Hamilton's daring to do such a thing, especially since it's time for him to retire.

Voters should hold the Board accountable for this rip-off and piece of bureaucratic arrogance.

From: Tish Dietrich [mailto:tishandjon@aol.com] Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 12:23 PMTo: tdecesar@tampabay.rr.comSubject: Chief Officer Reply
FYI – reply received – looks to me like it was never posted or able to be applied for.

Yes, a new position titled Chief Officer for District Compliance was created at the 7/25/06 School Board meeting. It was filled by Dr. James Hamilton.

We do not currently have a job description, but it is being worked on.

For now, you can go to http://apps1.sdhc.k12.fl.us/boardagenda/pdfs/BD20060725_180/Attch_20060725_180_E8.01C.pdf

and view the organizational chart which briefly describes his duties (second column, yellow, bolded).

His annual salary remains the same, $132,814.88.


Kristin Waskiewicz

Asst. Manager, External Communications

Office of Communications

Hillsborough County Public Schools


I mailed the charges against the Board and Ms. Elia two days ago to the Florida Ethics Commission.
The text of those charges appears below.
I go to New York for a short vacation to see the new Klimpt that some millionnaire bought and donated to a small Mahattan museum; to see the new MOMO; to visit my beloved Egyptians at the Metropolitan, who are always waiting for me in their sarcophagi; and to see what kind of shoes woman are wearing in the city of chic.
In my absence, there will be a guest piece from one of the women who fought the School Board and administration's disruption of the lives of children in the recent classroom expansion fiasco that tore up a neighborhood and terrified its children.

There will be remarks in this piece, perhaps, of a woman who entered the School Board race because of the damage the School Board and administration's reckless tearing up of neighborhoods and traumatizing the children to follow a plan that rumor says aims to cover up Elia's overbuilding of classrooms during her tenure in the buildings department. Apparently, when she took time off from looking the other way during the real-estate scam, Ms. Elia was engaged in overbuilding classrooms.

Don't expect the potted-plant board to monitor Ms. Elia. It's a know-nothing, do-nothing board. Its members ran for the Board because they got tired of watching the soaps or rolling bandages at the Junior League.

Elia, you will recall, is the specimen of incompetence that the Board picked among finalists , others of whom had Ph.D.'s from superior universities, depth of experience, especially in minority populations of students; and extensive scholarly writing.

We have to blame Ms. Elia on the School Board for the over-built class rooms, scramble to cover it up, and other messes. The members are ultimately responsible: they can't weasel out of their contempt for ability in chosing a candidate for the job of superintendent. They picked the one they knew was knee deep in inside-cabal politics. This group's racket is holding on to administrative power control appointing buddies to big bloated-salary jobs and handing out contracts to buddies.

Some of its members with sadistic tendencies also like to exercise Abu Gharib-type humiliation of underlings who come across their radar screens on a slow day. Review as examples, the way that the administration via its home-ec Lucco Brazzi Linday Kipley degraded and savaged Bart Birdsall and teacher Shawnree Miller.

Nobody in the school system stepped up to defend these victims of administration savagery. It does not say much for teacher courage that this be true. A half dozen brave, determined teachers could invade Board meetings and clean their clocks. So low is the measure of courage in our society that it is a wonder we are not still part of the British crown.

There may also be a piece from Logan Cobb, the high school student who is running against the moribund 12-year potted plant Candy Olson in District 2. I sent this remarkable young fellow a donation. We need to support his kind of youthful idealism. ldd
Casting-Room Couch Files Ethics Charges against Superintendent Elia and the Hillsborough County School Board with the Florida Ethics Commission

Florida Ethics Commission: “There shall be an independent commission to conduct investigations and make public reports on all complaints concerning breach of public trust by public officers or employees not within the jurisdiction of the judicial qualifications commission.”

Mr. Thomas P. Scarritt, Jr., Chair
3600 Maclay Boulevard, South, Suite 201 Tallahassee, FL 32312
August 9, 2006
Dear Mr. Scarritt:

I file a formal complaint against Hillsborough County state employee School Superintendent Ms. MaryAnn Elia and all members of the Hillsborough County School Board.

I appeal to the Members of the Florida Ethics Commission for the following actions and supply a narrative to further explicate the reasons for this ethics charge.

I ask that this state Board review Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools MaryEllen Elia’s unethical failure to inform school employee Mr. Birdsall and me about the option of a grievance for his mistreatment by Ms. Kipley, head of Professional Standards.

In my own case, I substitute the word “lying” for “misinforming,” for I believe such to be the case. Ms. Elia’s failure to provide needed information was highly unethical, especially for the head of a school system charged with instilling both literacy and right conduct in our young people.

Ms. Elia demonstrated neither ethics in her misleading one of the people whom she supervises, Mr. Birdsall, nor literacy, as the excerpt from her Web site at the end of this message demonstrates.

I request also that the Ethics Board review the Hillsborough County School Board’s tolerance of a system which throws teachers into punishment with a person, Linda Kipley, whose training began in home economics. She never augmented her home economics background with further relevant degrees for the work of judging professional standards according to my review of her personnel file.

Ms. Kipley had no competition for her $120,000 unadvertised job. The administration inserted her into it against its stated policy of equal opportunity in employment and despite knowing about her deficiencies in preparation and temperament.

Ms. Kipley has not responded to two requests and numerous emails from this citizen for a review of high-level administrator Dr. James Hamilton’s misuse of the school emails as a breach of professional standards, although she pursued with vigor Ms. Elia’s trumped-up professional-standards charge against low-level employee Bart Birdsall. Ms. Elia set this charge into action as a favor to a County employee outside the school system. Ms. Elia’s action represents highly unethical use of government power.

The background for this request follows:

Ms. Elia misled me and school media specialist Bart Birdsall in an interview with her after she made a speech at Tiger Bay shortly after she got the superintendent job. Mr. Birdsall complained to Superintendent Elia in this interview about the abusive, unprofessional conduct of Linda Kipley, head of Professional Standards, in Ms. Kipley’s processing of the charge Ms. Elia had initiated against Mr. Birdsall for his supposed personal use of the school email.

Ms. Kipley, whose degree is in home economics, had acquired the head job in Professional Standards, which now pays $120,000 a year, with no advertisement of the position. The administration inserted her into it with no other candidates considered, although the Board and administration robotically blazon “Equal Opportunity Employer” on Board and administration communications and Web site.

Such irregular hiring for the important position that Ms. Kipley holds represents signature employment practice of the district: the hypocrisy of promising equality of employment opportunity, but not practicing it. In tolerating such exotic employment practices, the Board, I submit, condones violation of Title VII and defies the non-discrimination requirements for the federal monies the schools receive.

The charge against Birdsall, formerly a teacher, now a media specialist, involved his putative abuse of school e-mail for personal use. Neither administration nor Board gave Birdsall any information about what to expect in the punishment phase either verbally or in writing.

I believe this no-information-for-the-accused policy reigns standard and allows Ms. Kipley to impose punishments of her devising arbitrarily and to engage in behaviors that fit her personal predilection, which, I infer, veers to sadism.

Hence, Birdsall did not know that an employee could file a charge against the abusive conduct that Ms. Kipley inflicted on him; nor did Ms. Elia in the interview at Tiger Bay tell him about the administration grievance process he could use to report the abuse.

Rather Ms. Elia listened to his complaint of misconduct by Ms. Kipley. Then, not only did she not reveal to Birdsall that there was a grievance process for such cases, but Superintendent Elia also did not tell him that a time limit existed for filing a grievance. Ms. Elia’s withholding vital information misled Mr. Birdsall into thinking he had no recourse against Ms. Kipley’s conduct. Thus, Ms. Elia misled an employee and a citizen in suppressing relevant information, a circumstance coincident with calculated lying in my view.

Ms. Elia’s withholding information from an employee ranks unethical on the superintendent’s part in all ethical systems, from Aristotle’s Nichomachean ethics to street-gang codes of decorum. It is certainly unethical behavior for the person who occupies the top administrative job of a school system who is supposed to model ethics for the community’s children in the classroom.

When Mr. Birdsall filed a complaint on speculation with administration and Board about Ms. Kipley’s behavior to see what good it might do, time limits for the grievance that Ms. Elia had declined to reveal to him had run out. Then, Ms. Elia, who had withheld the information about a timely grievance process when she spoke to Birdsall and me at Tiger Bay, informed Birdsall that he had filed the grievance too late; that she could not even consider it because time limits had expired; and that she must thus dismiss Birdsall’s complaint. The last-named action Superintendent Elia delivered with a Catch-22, authority fillip: she showed no concern whatsoever about the unprofessional behavior Birdsall reported that Kipley engaged in as head of professional standards. One got the impression that Ms. Elia well knew Ms. Kipley’s methods and condoned them.

The Board, seemingly oblivious to what goes on in the administration, indeed, subservient to the people whom its members are supposed to watchdog, did not intervene in this Kafkaesque proceeding. As usual, it sat like potted plants, rubberstamping anything the administration via Ms. Elia put under its members’ noses.

Nor did the CTA union, which seems more concerned with not offending the administration than with serving its teacher membership that pays $500 a year in dues from meager salaries. The union leadership is reputed to get bloated salaries but refuses to reveal them to members of the union and post them on the CTA web site.

Ms. Elia is rumored to make a quarter of a million dollars a year despite her lack of a doctorate, which the Board had reduced in the ad for the superintendent job to fit her lack of this credential. I reviewed the finalists’ files. The Board hired Ms. Elia despite superior competing candidates with doctorates from distinguished institutions, rich histories of experience, and scholarly publishing.

The Board wasted $35,000 in conducting a “nation-wide” search for a superintendent with, one must infer, prior knowledge that insider Elia would get the job no matter who applied.

Worth noting is that Ms. Elia cannot punctuate at the level expected from graduating seniors from the school system which she supervises. I list some of her deficiencies below and correct them. I taught college English for twenty-eight years before retiring and can spot such basic errors as Ms. Elia makes in my sleep.

Since I complained about her punctuation illiteracy, Ms. Elia has enlisted the ghost-writing skills of Mr. Steve Hegarty, head of the Public Affairs office. He can’t punctuate either and apparently got his job from extracurricular connection with several administrators sustained even during hiatus from his job of reporting on the schools for a local paper. He also lacked the supervisory experience cited in the ad for the position. My review of the finalists’ files for the Public Affairs job appropriated by Mr. Hegarty showed much better rejected candidates who could write well as well as punctuate and who had the experience requirement that Mr. Hegarty lacked.

Board member Dr. Lamb told me at a Tiger Bay meeting at which he spoke that ability to punctuate was only one thing—his tone implied a mere footnote---he considered in hiring a superintendent. He did not say whether inability to read would be depositive in selecting a superintendent for a school system in charge of instilling literacy in the community’s children.

Ms. Elia’s pre-superintendent supervisory experience was as head of the schools’ building department. The St. Petersburg Times has recently published a series on this building department’s real-estate scam during Ms. Elia’s tenure there. Both the Board and Ms. Elia expressed astonishment at the revelations of the paper’s series and referred their problems of laxity and incompetence to the state’s attorney.

The Board never holds high-level administrators responsible for untoward activity. It reserves its rigor in blaming for trifles for low-level employees. It washes its hands of inconvenient large problems such as the building-department real-estate scam that cost tax payers thousands of dollars and passes them along to state authorities to sort out. Then it continues with business as usual with the wrongdoers unpunished and often, as in Ms. Elia’s case, put on the promotion track to superintendent or other high-level administrative jobs with bloated salaries.

One wonders what Dr. Lamb’s criteria may be for school superintendent if he dismisses inability to punctuate and preventing fraud in the department his present choice supervised. I find hard not to infer that, in Ms. Elia’s insider hiring, we have yet one more instance of the school system’s ingrained practice of buddy hiring. This practice deprives the schools of quality leaders from the education world and stains the School Board’s reputation for ethical, legal hiring protocols.

To frame a charge of using school email for private purposes against Birdsall, Ms. Elia referred to Professional Standards head Ms. Linda Kipley Mr. Birdsall’s emails to County library head Joe Stines. Mr. Stines had complained to Superintendent Elia that Mr. Birdsall had sent him emails that chided his cooperating with county efforts to deprive gays of access to the library equal to that of heterosexuals after Commissioner Ronda Storms spearheaded a homophobic ordinance that mandated Hillsborough County’s denial of gays support in any county facility.

The library under Mr. Stines’s direction then dismantled a gay display mounted by a University of South Florida student as part of her multicultural class project on which she had made an “A.” She had modified the project to make it fit into county library Westgate Regional, at which she worked.

Mr. Stines is gay as is Mr. Birdsall. Mr. Birdsall was indignant at Mr. Stines for what he considered betrayal by a gay of other gays. So Birdsall sent Stines emails of rebuke from his home email.

Ms. Elia claimed in the interview alluded to above with Birdsall and me at Tiger Bay that she was too technologically unsophisticated to comprehend that the emails showed on the “from” line that they originated from Mr. Birdsall’s home computer, hence, she claimed, her motive for passing them to the Professional Standards department.

The school lawyer confirmed that a school employee has a First Amendment right to send emails from his or her home computer.

Ms. Elia seems adept at handling truth loosely. It strains credulity to believe her statement that she couldn’t read the “from” line of an email and determine that it originated outside the school email system: the school system in which she functions runs on computers, and school people—even low-level employees—must know such basic information as she denied knowing. In addition, Ms. Elia must have known that the school email system blocks AOL emails.

Nonetheless, the computer department at Superintendent Elia’s behest conducted a fishing expedition on Birdsall’s emails. The effort turned up nothing but his posting a note about a gay free-speech community march against the library gay shut-out on the media bulletin board. The American Library Association, from which Mr. Birdsall has won an award, advises its members to make such community postings on the school media board by personnel such as Birdsall.

Finding nothing to charge Birdsall with did not deter Ms. Kipley from calling him into her office for interrogation and mind games. Ms. Kipley followed the default administration protocol to intimidate personnel into silence concerning anything it disagrees with in how the administration runs the schools. Ms. Kipley is the administration enforcer who subjects targeted personnel to ominous, vaguely articulated threats to their jobs.

This psychological intimidation means most employees shut down and don’t utter a peep for fear the administration will fire them. A woman at a School Board meeting approached me and said, “I would talk to you, but they [the administration] is very vindictive.” I believe her.

Ms. Kipley was supposed to send Mr. Birdsall a letter after this interview clearing him of the charge. Instead, she sent him by registered mail a vaguely menacing letter of warning about any future misbehavior on his part, not having established that he had misbehaved in the first place.

I appealed to the Board so persistently about this behavior that Dr. Lamb finally sent me an email of irate tone promising to have school attorney Tom Gonzalez review Kipley’s conduct to see if it were as abusive as teachers claimed. Now the problem is to get any of Ms. Kipley’s mistreated recipients to have enough nerve to talk to lawyer Gonzalez. Teacher Shawnree Miller was brave enough to give her name to Bart Birdsall about the harrowing experience Ms. Kipley subjected her to for taking children to visit a university with their parents’ permission. This field trip subsequently gave rise to Ms. Kipley’s degrading punishment of Ms. Miller for professional-standards violation. I hope Ms. Miller will tell Mr. Gonzalez in person about the distorted basis for the charge and the treatment she underwent in the Professional Standards cell block.

School employees have read what happens to whistle blowers around the country and especially in the Hillsborough County school system. So they are understandably reluctant to speak to Mr. Gonzalez. God forbid that Dr. Lamb or other Board members bestir themselves to add assurance to Mr. Gonzalez’s that both he and the Board will shield victims from further abuse and retaliation by the administration.

Subsequently, Dr. Lamb has declined to answer Birdsall’s emails about the status of the Gonzalez investigation after approximately two months. I recently emailed Mr. Gonzalez to see if he would send me the results of his review since it is public information. He assured me he would, thank goodness.

School Board members themselves do not answer emails as an apparent policy. After promising on the hustings to value community input, they ignore it, in fact, discourage it. Nor does the Public Affairs office without persistent prodding vouchsafe public information—and then selectively.

The administration seems to consider the Sunshine law an inconvenience to avoid, not a mandate with which to comply.

To test Professional Standards equal scrutiny of low- and high-level employees, I filed a charge against Dr. James Hamilton for his personal use of the school email.

While the evidence against Birdsall was non-existent, that against Dr. Hamilton was flagrant. Dr. Hamilton seems to be an administration power-to-be-reckoned-with specimen whose putative role has been playing Rasputin to both Dr. Lennard—the previous superintendent—and Ms. Elia, the present one.

Apocryphal information says Dr. Hamilton was maestro who shepherded both Lennard and Elia into the superintendent position with skill that would make Machiavelli look a piker. Hence, the inside candidates picked by administration cabal that lusts to stay in power got the job of school superintendent of Hillsborough County after a cynical “nation-wide” search costing the taxpayers $30,000 and $35,000 respectively.

The previous superintendent, Dr. Lennard, came from county in-house vo tech; the present one comes from in-house building department. Their administrative experience was narrow to say the least. Neither can punctuate. Inability to punctuate seems to be a bona fide occupational qualification for the job of superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Dr. Hamilton is the person also reputed to have shepherded the promotion of former kindergarten teacher Connie Mileto to the $120,000 job as school lobbyist over other candidates with, one infers, more condign credentials than a kindergarten resume.

During this period of Dr. Hamilton’s employment magic for Ms. Mileto his marital magic fizzled: he and his wife divorced. I believe Dr. Hamilton has been married thus far three times. This administration wunderkind does not enjoy a robust domestic success that parallels his tax-supported Rasputin-to-superintendents tour de force and promotion prestidigitation for a kindergarten protégée.

Dr. Hamilton has crafted for himself a legendary image. He boasts that he is rough-and-tough hombre of the good-ol-boy stripe and brags that as a boss he is an SOB--his coinage. One hopes that in a school system charged with guiding our young to both academic and social civility that Dr. Hamilton’s brag is mere bloviation that emerges from insecurity, not reality.

Dr. Hamilton, one also hears, was due for recent retirement but declined to leave the ROSSAC building, scene of his sustained grandeur. He instead hung tough, hunkered down, and shared the job with his replacement, Dr. Otero, malgre lui, for some time. The Board did not demur at this expensive maneuver even though Dr. Hamilton’s mulish bivouacking cost the taxpayers two $132,000-plus salaries for one job.

Dr. Hamilton’s obduracy bore fruit, confirming his Rasputin bona fides. Recently, the administration conjured and the Board approved a novel administrative position for the immovable fellow. I infer this job to be a featherbedding concoction costing the taxpayers about $150,000 a year, probably more with Dr. Hamilton’s grandiose consulting tendencies. When tax money is concerned, the Board and administration never hesitate at its prodigal use, especially to undergird the amour propre of the Rasputin of the school system.

I append emails on which I based my complaint to Ms. Kipley for Dr. Hamilton’s use of the school email for personal preening. He downloads exhibitionist email banter for a captive audience whom he regards as inferiors in the power chain of which he sits atop. Such is his self-regard that he treats school personnel as if they are at his beck for any service, including target for airing his ego. The situation is a lot like Claudius’s use of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet.

I complained to Ms. Kipley that these Hamilton emails violated the same injunction against personal use of school email that she hauled in Bart Birdsall for allegedly engaging in. Birdsall’s charge turned out not to have a scintilla of evidence to back it up whereas Dr. Hamilton’s models gross contempt for the no-personal-use-of-email rule that should apply to everyone, not just underlings. Administrators making over $100,000 a year appear exempt from professional-standards criteria, however.

In addition to their preening, Dr. Hamilton’s emails are vulgar and illiterate. He does not know the difference between homophones “your” and “you’re.” Such gross ignorance alone should demand his firing from a job that purports to concern education. The emails reveal that Dr. Hamilton does not dream of visiting fifth-century Athens’ acme of culture but of loitering on a bar stool in Margaritaville, wherever that be in the cultural firmament of Western civilization.

I got no acknowledgement from Ms. Kipley that she received my complaint, although I understand her mandate says she must respond to all complaints. I also got no answer from repeated requests to Board, administration, and Public Affairs head Steve Hegarty. Mr. Hegarty’s airy spin was that Dr. Hamilton’s use of school email for vulgar, illiterate braggadocio ranked a trifle. “Oh, that kind of thing,” quoth Mr. Hegarty, “doesn’t count.”

Mr. Hegarty claimed I had not filed the charge against Dr. Hamilton the first time I filed it; so I filed it a second time.

I do not trust Mr. Hegarty’s truthfulness or ethics. I believe he hacked into or entered when I forgot to sign out of my Grammargrinch.blogspot web blog to remove my negative critique of his grammar and punctuation. I said that a man who got $91,000 plus perquisites from tax money to head a communications department but who could not punctuate and wrote as poorly as did Mr. Hegarty had no business in a school system ostensibly dedicated to imparting literacy to students.

I append a specimen of Mr. Hegarty’s writing below along with Dr. Hamilton’s and Ms. Elia’s with my corrections.

This double-standard for Birdsall and Hamilton offends against ethics. It models an invidious class system for punishment of low-level but not high-level employees in the Hillsborough County public school system.

School Superintendent Elia’s had set Ms. Kipley and the mainframe computer guys the task of screening every byte of Birdsall’s email. Their goal was to trap and terrify him for supposedly using the school email for personal reasons to assuage Ms. Elia’s pique at his using his First Amendment rights from his home computer to castigate a member of the County library staff outside the school system with whom the lady apparently has a personal relationship.

Why Ms. Elia would begin her superintendent duties with indulging in such an ignoble maneuver lies buried in the friendship network of bureaucrats in the county I suspect. Her doing so right off the launch pad of her new power position suggests her practiced use of government power to exert unfair pressure on underlings in her domain.

To any fair-minded person, Ms. Elia’s conduct represents abuse of her position to inflict punishment on a citizen employee from behind the shield of her office. Such unethical misuse of police power models the most frightening abuse of government power in our democracy.

I append below Dr. Hamilton’s ostensibly school-related but clearly personal-preening emails. I interpolate corrective comments on the gentleman’s illiteracy, subsidized at $132,000 per annum plus perquisites from the taxes of Floridians who would be dismayed to know that the Hillsborough County school system supports and that the elected Board abets such abilities manqué and deficient judgment in the long-time, second-in-command in the administrative hierarchy of the Hillsborough County school system.

Dr. Hamilton’s new featherbedding sinecure features the title of Chief Officer for District Compliance.

My analysis says that Dr. Hamilton chose diction for this title. “Chief Officer” defines the only place he condescends to occupy: the top, with his being the brains behind the puppet superintendent. “District” defines the width and breadth of his domain: the entire school system viewed as his kingdom. And “Compliance” is one of those fascist words that attract bullies such as Dr. Hamilton like carrion draws a buzzard.

I cannot imagine how Dr. Hamilton appropriated this kind of supremacy. Its source poses a mystery but must accrue to his noxious s.o.b. persona to scare people crafted over years in the school arena at taxpayers’ expense. The brutal facade Dr. Hamilton has devised for himself gets no reverence from me. But apparently a lot of school administration hangers-on and Board members do obeisance to it as witness Dr. Hamilton’s triumphant, unopposed bustle in his newly minted make-work position.

The State Ethics Panel website features pictures and biographies of its nine members: all men with impressive biographies.

There is not one woman on the panel.

I cannot imagine what was in the governor’s mind when he appointed an all-male ethics board.

These pictures don’t tell our daughters (my three) and granddaughters (again, three) that they too can aspire to esteemed offices such as the State Commission on Ethics but tell our sons (one for me, a NASA engineer) and grandsons (seven fine boys) that they will continue to run the world in the old chauvinist discriminatory mold while women stand in wistful perpetuity on the sidelines.

If the members of this panel have daughters and granddaughters, I trust that they will urge the governor to appoint a woman in their places when their term expires. An all-male ethics panel is an oxymoron, gentleman, if one is sympathetic to women’s rights and dignity.

I asked my husband of fifty-one years, a Republican who was mayor of our little beach town for fourteen years, if he agreed with me, a Democrat, that there should be an equal number of women on the Florida Ethics Panel. He said he did. Not often do we agree on political matters, but this represents one issue on which we accord.

A man who has daughters and granddaughters has given hostages to the fortunes of the struggle for women’s equality.

Please let me have a timely response to my request for this ethics review of Superintendent Elia and the Hillsborough County School Board.

If the Ethics Commission cannot deal with this request for an ethics review of the misconduct of the Hillsborough County public school officials and employees outlined above, pray say so and refer me to the proper person or agency to whom or which to address this complaint.

As a last resort, I can petition the governor, but I believe that he appointed this ethics commission to deal with the issues I have described in the above narrative.


(Ms.) Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Addendum of writing samples from employees paid by taxpayers to ensure the literacy of students in the public-schools system

Dr. Hamilton’s, Ms. Elia’s, and Mr. Hegarty’s writing samples.

Ms. Kipley:

I repeat a complaint that I filed with your office six months ago against Dr. James Hamilton for use of the school emails for personal preening. Mr. Hegarty claims I never made such complaint. I cite Dr. Hamilton's emails that follow as basis for my complaint then and now:

To: All Principals and Site Managers1. Cap’in, Cap’in, and can you hear me?

The slurred-pronunciation of "Captain" should be "Cap'n," not "Cap'in." Dr. Hamilton apparently does know quotation-marks protocol.

I can hear you Mr. Scott, but I can’t see you, touch you and feel you!

A comma follows the first "you" for direct address; a comma follows second "you" for items in a series.

Cap’in, Cap’in, I think it’s the dilithium crystals! I just can’t get ‘er to give me more power!

"Cap'n," not "Cap'in"

Well Scotty, where am I?

Comma after "Well" for mild interjection

Cap’in I think that you’re molecules are spread across the universe, ‘cause the transporter is jammed!

"Cap'in" should be "Cap'n." "Your" should replace "you're," which is contraction for "you are." Star-Trek Hamilton hasn't mastered homophones. The comma after "universe" cuts off a restrictive trailing adverbial dependent clause: delete it.

Well Scotty, I’ve got an important message to get to all of the principals and site managers, so put down that bottle, and stoke those engines and get me back in one piece so I can get it out by the end of the day!!!!!!!!

Comma follows "well": mild interjection. Delete comma after "bottle": don't separate a compound verb with a comma. Only very young children, comic books, and grown-ups stuck in arrested development use plethora of exclamation points as does Dr. Hamilton.

From: James Hamilton
Subject: Back in Margaritaville
To: AutoOpeners

Well fans I am happy to report that the Ca'pin has survived the failure of the Dilithium crystals. While atomized across the vast reaches of space between Margaritaville and the Starship Enterprise I encountered two Klingon birds of prey lying in wait in cloaking devices. I even had a photon torpedo fly through my parts while I was waiting for Mr. Scott to reassemble my parts.

Commas should enclose "fans" for direct address. "Ca'pin" should be "Cap'n" for elision of letters. A comma goes after "Enterprise": introductory adverbial clause. ”Enterprise” gets italics for being the name of an airship. A comma follows “prey” for non-restrictive participial phrase. "Even" is a misplaced modifier: it goes before "a photon."

They are now reassembled and I have landed in Margaritaville again. While on my way over to Louie's Backyard, I thought it would be helpful if we took a brief moment to return to Lawson Land and remember that we have more of our hard working people getting paid tomorrow, and some will need help understanding their check.

Comma goes after "reassembled": compound sentence. "It" lacks antecedent. Dr. Hamilton should hyphenate "hard working": two words before a noun acting as a single adjective. "People" should be "people's": possessive before the gerund.

And don't tell them it's them SO and SOs downtown because my phasers are not on stun, Mr. Spock.

"Them" should be "those." "Them" is a solecism of such gaucherie that it places the author in nadir of illiteracy. “So-and-so” is a lower-case hyphenated compound.

This crude attempt at persiflage makes one ask why Dr. Hamilton can use the email system for piney-woods stabs at slapstick while Bart Birsdall gets the third degree for posting a notice on the media bulletin board for a community free-speech gay march, and a hapless teacher gets tortured in Kipley’s Abu Gharib cell block for taking children to see a university with parents’ permission but without the jots and tittles executed in the Catch-22 bureaucratic protocol that obtains in the recesses of Ms. Kipley’s mind but does not appear in writing for teachers to consult to guide their conduct so that it does not breach these unarticulated protocols of hazardous conduct that Ms. Kipley apparently manufactures ad hoc.

Ms Kipley, madam: This is the second formal complaint I have referred to your office against Dr. Hamilton. I do not trust your own professional conduct since your participation with Ms. Elia to terrify Bart Birdsell at the behest of Joe Stines, of the Hillsborough County Library system.

The purpose of the search of Mr. Birdsall's email files was to trap him in some fugitive error that violated the Professional Standards policy of the school system to give the superintendent an excuse for firing him. This reign of terror's involving the fear of firing keeps the school employees silent when they see wrongdoing. They fear reporting it will boomerang and result in their being fired.

Whistleblowers suffer crucifixion in the current school system. You found nothing punishable in your fishing expedition in Mr. Birdsall's files, and the school lawyer told you that Birdsall had a free-speech right to send emails from his home to Mr. Stines.

You changed your stories about why you hauled Birdsall in and failed to send the letter of apology that you promised him. Instead, you sent him an ominous registered letter with vague allusions to his undefined wrongdoing and vague allusions to his putative punishment for undefined wrongdoing in the future.

So your own professional conduct is under scrutiny in my formal complaint against Dr. Hamilton. I shall call immediate attention to anything I consider an infraction on your part and look forward to our interview to discuss this charge in detail in your office.

Dr. Hamilton's illiterate, vulgar emails cited above disgrace the professional standards of education. His tone of offensive familiarity toward people whom he addresses goes athwart protocols of professional conduct in an educator.

Mr. Hamilton's tone says that he reigns imperial boss of his school domain and that his underlings must sit and listen in helpless acceptance to his ignoble use of school employees as captive audience because crossing him would jeopardize their jobs, although his low behavior does not jeopardize his majestic level of employment.

Apparently, Dr. Hamilton has gotten away with such arrogant behavior with impunity so long in his role as Rasputin to Dr. Lennard and now Ms. Elia--as witness his reputed sponsorship of a cushy no-competition $120,000 job for pet Ms. Connie Mileto--that he assumes his boorish behavior's universal indulgence as a form of entitlement. The reference to Margaritaville suggests his approval of drunkenness: unsuitable model in school emails for the leader of young students in his charge.

The coarse professional standards of Dr. Hamilton's low level of grammar and punctuation should assure his eviction from his job in education. Such performance from a fellow making at least $132,000 or more with bloated perquisites that come from taxpayers who trust his guidance to ensure that students in the system exit their secondary education able to use correct grammar and punctuation is not acceptable.

How can a fellow who demonstrates such illiteracy as does he guide young people in literacy? That is the illiterate’s leading the illiterate. Nor is it acceptable to use vulgar allusions to Margaritaville in professional statements as model communication for young people in their quest to get a job in a world not receptive to the soused illiteracy that Dr. Hamilton's emails model and recommend.

Dr. Hamilton's personal use of the school email to inflate his ego and to showcase his contempt for his recipients and derision of the inconvenience of teachers deprived of timely receipt of their paychecks because of the administration's incompetence recommends that Dr. Hamilton suffer firing posthaste.

Please tell me when to appear in your office to discuss this formal complaint.

lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

I complained several times about the illiteracy of Ms. Elia’s Web punctuation to her via email and once to Board member Ms. Edgecomb, who did not get the errors corrected. I complained to Ms. Edgecomb a second time, and she finally got someone to correct the errors. Ms. Edgecomb’s indifference testifies that the administration’s illiteracy does not bother Board members.

They are as indifferent to Web displays of superintendent illiteracy for the entire Web world to see as they are unconcerned about Professional Standards Kipley's degrading treatment of teachers.
MaryEllen Elia's Online Biography
On September 4, 2002, MaryEllen was appointed to the General Director of Secondary Education, and on June 3, 2003, she was appointed the Hillsborough County School District's Chief Facilities Officer where she was responsible for all new construction for over 200 schools/educational facilities and district maintenance and custodial operations.
Put a comma after "Officer": the "where' clause is a nonrestrictive adjectival clause. Get rid of the passive verbs: “The Board appointed Ms. Elia….”

English teachers plead with students to avoid passive verbs such as this one. Edit: "On May 19, 2005, the School Board appointed MaryEllen Elia Superintendent of Schools."
MaryEllen is married to Albert Elia and has two children, a son Albert and a daughter Tara.
Commas should enclose “Albert” and “Tara” as non-restrictive appositives since they are sole son and daughter according to the biography.
With compound adjectives before a noun, hyphens rank standard; here are words that need hyphenation in your biography: magnet hyphen school supervisor; reading hyphen resource specialist. These hyphens mark two words before a noun acting as a single adjective. Style: 18 percent of the verbs are passive. English teachers plead with students to avoid flabby passive verbs. They vitiate rhetorical force. You overuse them.

You suffer from the Number One style error: wordiness: “With the advent of magnet schools in 199...”: pompous wordiness. Substitute “In 1991, MaryEllen Elia became..." Third-person pomp: e.g, “MaryEllen earned a Nobel Laureate in 1981 for wondrous deeds in the reading lab.”
We commoners should surrender royal third person to the English queen and refer to ourselves in unpretentious first person.
Your punctuation is not as bad as that of your predecessor, Dr. Earl the Pearl Lennard—few’s punctuation could be. But your performance shows why I work for obligatory basic-English tests for administrators like those teachers must pass before marginally literate administrators begin drawing their bloated salaries while teachers get pittances.

Massachusetts, the Number One school system in the country, has legislated administrator literacy tests that administrative candidates must pass to get a job. Florida needs this law as your on-line errors and those of Dr. Hamilton’s emails clearly show.

More errors:

…School District of Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida as a reading resource specialist at Plant High School. …From January 1997 through September 2002, she served as Director of Non-Traditional Programs which included magnet schools as well the ESOL program, alternative schools and dropout prevention programs.
Put a comma after “Florida”: conventional-material rule. Put a comma after “Programs”; a nonrestrictive adjective clause follows it.Standard English retains the last comma in items in a series: "alternative schools." One hopes that Hillsborough County schools teach Standard English and that staff uses it.
On September 4, 2002, MaryEllen was appointed to the General Director of Secondary Education, and on June 3, 2003, she was appointed the Hillsborough County School District's Chief Facilities Officer where she was responsible for all new construction for over 200 schools/educational facilities and district maintenance and custodial operations.

Edit out passive verb” “The Board appointed MaryEllen….” A comma goes after “officer” for the nonrestrictive adjective clause following.

Advice: Don’t allow young Hegarty to sin against literacy in your name. Doing so comprises a case of the blind’s leading the blind. Use Ms. Linda Cobbe, who works in obscurity in the public-relations office, to write for you since you are not up to the task yourself. Ms. Cobbe is a good if not a perfect punctuater. She or one of the other competent finalists whose applications I examined should have gotten the job instead of Mr. Heggarty, whom you apparently hired for his sychophancey, not for his ability to write. One must have competent people on the payroll to do the jobs that your buddy hires are incompetent to do.

Heggarty noted in his resume that he had kept in touch with several administrative contacts when on sabbaticals from the Hillsborough County school beat. I asked for their identities as public information. He said no. He didn’t not vouchsafe an explanation as the Sunshine law requires. Something tells me that Mr. Heggarty's toadying instincts made you one of these contacts. Heggarty's lassitude as a reporter able to evade witnessing skullduggery in the schools going on under his nose probably also recommended him to you for the job.

Heggarty, as an indication of his character, sneaked into my Grammargrich blog, I believe, and deleted my posting on his illiteracy. But I will put the rascal's illiteracy back in Grammargrinch eventually and change my password.

Back to in-house illiteracy: Dr. Hamilton, against whom I lodged two unanswered professional-standards complaints for his misuse of the school email system for personal preening, is a prima facie case for administration illiteracy. We taxpayers, thanks to a supine Board, pay him $132,000 to write illiterate emails whilst prancing around as if he were Cato the Elder, god’s gift to the administrative hierarchy not to mention promotion facilitator to a young female kindergarten teacher who wanted to skip all
the rungs of the credential ladder from Romper Room to Tallahassee lobbyist to land in a top $120,000 job.

She lacked bona fides for this high-level, bloated-pay job except that Dr. Hamilton, in-house geezer Galahad, shone his light upon her whilst the superintendent abetted by the Board looked the other way.

Administrator-literacy tests are obligatory in Massachusetts, the Number One school system in the nation. You could secure one, take it yourself, and test-drive it on Dr. Hamilton, who doesn't know the difference between "you're" and "your." That performance would provide you basis for evicting him from his current sharing a job with Dr. Otero now so that the taxpayers must fork over two salaries for one job.

If C students who acquire education-lite degrees from Web diploma mills or from third-tier schools with ghosted theses and who now occupy administration sinecures had to pass a teacher-literacy test to keep their jobs, their ranks would thin: delicious prospect for those interested in education instead of subsidizing and tolerating administrative featherbedding layabouts bent on milking the system for all the tax dollars they can purloin via salary bloat and exotic perquisites in the rampant administrative racket that afflict school systems all over the country and especially in Hillsborough County.
Lee Drury De Cesare
Steve Hegarty’s writing: this following disappeared from my grammargrinch.blogspot Web site. I infer Steve had a computer-savvy person hack in for him to remove it; or he entered when I forgot to sign out. Logic says nobody else but Hegarty would have any interest in removing a critique of his writing errors from my grammar Web site.

Stephen Hegarty came from the St. Petersburg Times to public-affairs director for Hillsborough County School Board. He makes $91,000 for the position plus benefits and perquisites, much more than his reporter’s job paid one infers.

His writing below makes one marvel that he held a reporter’s job. He does not know comma protocol; his style represents flatulent educationese. You see comma errors in newspapers, but you don’t see pompous, wordy text such as Hegarty must consider rhetorically condign to his elevated position. One wonders how he changed so fast from compact reporter style to gaseous bureaucratese festooned with comma errors.

This message below represents response to a public-information request. Mr. Hegarty delayed sending it for a month because, I infer, it records the School Board’s unfair and probably illegal policy of hiring favorites with flim flam to cover up the unfair procedures.

Mr. Hegarty’s prose:

Nepotism PolicyIn terms of the School District’s nepotism policy, I would refer you to the Policy Manual, which is available at the District’s website (
www.sdhc.k12.fl.us). 24 words Wordy: Edit: See the district Web site for nepotism policy (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us). 9 words

As you’ll see (comma: introductory adverbial clause) there are no prohibitions against spouses working (spouses’ working: possessive before gerund) for the district. 12 words Edit: No rules prevent spouses’ working for the district. 8 words However, there are clear guidelines to prevent an employee from supervising a family member or spouse.16 words Edit: Guidelines prevent an employee’s supervising a family member.8 words I think you’ll find that (no antecedent) is a common policy in large businesses as well as School Districts.15 words Edit: Large businesses use this policy as well. 7 words

Chapter 6.27 reads, in part:

No employee may be appointed, transferred or promoted into a position at a work site in which his or her father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, son or comma:Passive verb Academic English requires this comma in items in a series. daughter is employed as a supervisor or administrator. No employee may be appointed, Passive verb transferred, or promoted into a supervisory or administrative position at a work site in which his or her father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, son comma or daughter is employed in a subordinate position.

Both sentences have passive verbs, always longer and less clear than sentences with active verbs: Edit: The School Board may appoint, transfer, promote…
List of “paired jobs’’

I offer a two-part answer. (Be consistent: if you introduce a subsection above with a colon, do the same here.)

1) No such list exists. If I were to request that such a list be created, the District would charge a fee, as we would do for any other person requesting that we create a record that does not already exist.36 words Edit: The District charges a fee to create a record. 9 words Typically Comma, sentence adverb the fee for such a computer search and the creation of such a record is in the range of $61.23 words Edit: A typical record-creation fee is about $61 7words. It could be higher. Your first and last sentences avoid turgidity. Use them as models.

2) I see no clear strategy for way to creating such a list. Let me explain why. Condescending pedantry. We do not have computer records that track employees’ spouses. 10 words Edit: District computer records don’t track spouses. 6 words How would we capture such a list? It would be possible to check on people with the same last name, the same phone number comma: items in a series and the same address.26 words Edit: Tracking people with the same surname, phone number, and address is possible. 12 words However, we have some [delete superflous modifer] married couples with different last names. And we might very well [delete superflous modifiers] have some parents whose sons or daughters work for the school district and share the same address and phone number. 25 words We might have parents share last name with sons and daughters working in the school system. 16 words

Request for information

You point out, correctly, Omit redundant modifier in memory of Strunk & White. that a request for information does not need not be written Edit: need not be written="written request." I’m not sure why you think the Board comment you cited states otherwise. The comment to which you refer is a standard warning to email writers that their correspondence to and from public officials is a public record. Some people forget that Pronoun reference: that what? Comma for compound sentence and we think it is only delete fair to remind them.

Records Retention

In an earlier request, you asked for employment applications for the applicants who did not get the jobs in question. By law, we are required Edit: Law requires us to keep such records for two years, not the 30 years that you cited. [Note: I called the State records-retention people, who told me the period was thirty years.]Therefore, we no longer have those applications. Let me be clear: We keep application records for employees. But law does not require that we... we are not required to keep those application records for unsuccessful applicants.

Hiring information

Linda Kipley was appointed Passive verb’s sneaky function: to hide the culprit. Who appointed her? to her current position as part of a reorganization. The job was not advertised Sneaky passive verb: was not advertised by whom and why not: to facilitate buddy hiring or solve the administrative problem of Kipley's problem principalship of HHS? Comma goes here for compound sentence. and there were no other applicants. How could there be if the appointment came by administrative fiat, not by equal-employment-opportunity hiring as the Board hypcritically promises to adhere to on every piece of paper that leaves its lair?

As for the applicant pool file on Connie Milito (I assume you mean Connie Milito. Your correspondence refers to a “Connie Alito,’’ but we have no one working here by that name.) Edit: The period goes outside the close of the parentheses. She holds her current position as a result of an upgrade. “Upgrade” disguises a labyrinthine no-competition hiring scam with a rich oral history in the halls of ROSSAC.

Her job duties were expanded Sneaky passive verb: expanded by whom? and Semicolon for a conjunctive adverb therefore her title was changed. By whom?
There were no other applicants. Why? Did Dr. Hamilton mandate that convenient circumstance to evade equal opportunity for a cushy, high-paying job for his protégé? In effect, the District’s lobbyist was asked Passive verb: by whom was she "asked"? to do more jobs Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Otero share one job for two salaries. The district lobbyist does two jobs for one salary. This situation suggests distortions of job economies and other spin flim flam cover up. Comma needed: compound sentence. and her job description was updated By whom? Who wrote this prose specimen of skullduggery in buddy hiring? to reflect that. That what? No antecedent: Could it be “razzamatazz”?

As for Ms. Milito’s original appointment, we no longer have the files of the unsuccessful applicants.How convenient that the shredder churns away at covering up questionable maneuvers by the administration. That appointment occurred in 1993, which is well outside of the records retention period. Not according to the State Archives people I can tell you, however, that Ms. Milito’s personnel file contains documents that indicate 18 people applied for that position. (You say before that there were no other applicants for the job. Which version is true?)

Personnel files

Some time ago, you asked to see the personnel files for Linda Kipley and Connie Milito. You were invited Passive verb to come to the office (at 901 East Kennedy Boulevard) any time. The invitation stands. We would be happy to find a comfortable place for you to peruse the files and would gladly Strunk & White: redundant modifier make copies for you. Perhaps I should ask for a chaise lounge and peeled grapes and explain that I read files, never peruse them.

Ads for Lennard & Elia Superintendent Positions

Earlier you asked who wrote the advertisements for the last two superintendent searches. I believe we already responded to that inquiry, but I’ll include the response here as well. Edit: To repeat our earlier response:

With regard to In the superintendent search in 1996 when Dr. Lennard was chosen, the advertisement was worked Writer has passive-verb addiction. on by a committee. John Miliziano, Administrative Assistant to Supt. Sickles, was instrumental This blowsy expression is so bad that you must replace it with something that sounds human, not android. in getting this Antecedent: What? done. The committee and others who had input on the advertisement brochure Edit: contributed were Supt. Walter Sickles, John Miliziano, Donna Reed (Director of Communications), Dr. Wayne Blanton (Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association), School Board members Doris Reddick, Carol Kurdell, Glenn Barrington, Yvonne McKitrick, Candy Olson, Carolyn Bricklemyer Comma is standard English for items in a series. and Joe Newsome.

With regard to the advertisement of this year when Mrs. Elia was chosen, that was drawn up by the search firm (PROACT). Passive verbs 22 words Edit: Search firm PROACT wrote the ad for Ms. Elia’s selection. 10 words During the process Delete: redundant wordiness The Board had input as well as final approval.

You also asked who was on the School Board when Dr. Lennard was hired. Passive verb School Board members at that time were Doris Reddick, Carol Kurdell, Glenn Barrington, Yvonne McKitrick, Candy Olson, Carolyn Bricklemyer Comma and Joe Newsome.

Stephen Hegarty, Public Information Officer, School District of Hillsborough County

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