Saturday, March 21, 2009

Billet Doux Sent to the Board

Board Members: Typical comment on my casting-room-couch blog. ldd

Hillsborough County Public Schools: An Equal Opportunity Employer
From: Anonymous []
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 9:19 AM

Subject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch]

New comment on Cover-up to Cover One's Ass.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Cover-up to Cover One's Ass":

These administrators and boards are as criminal as AIG executives with attitudes of entitlement.

They fire teachers for any teeny, tiny thing, but if you start poking around in their business like you do, Lee, then they start pouting and stamping their feet. I believe that the temperaments that go into school administrations and school boards tend to be emotional 9 year olds. The schools are led by totally immature people, so you can't blame the kids for being out-of-control.

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 6:16 AM

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cover-up to Cover One's Ass

Commissioner Eric J. Smith

Turington Building 154

325 James Street

Tallahassee, FL 32299


Dear Commissioner Smith:

Several weeks ago I requested that you get Broward County School Board to obey the public-information law and forward me requested public information about its hiring as lobbyist Dr. James Hamilton, former assistant superintendent Hillsborough County.

Marion County’s school-board attorney has informed me that I was mistaken in my information that Dr. Hamilton was its lobbyist in response to my public-information query; however, Marion County’s name appears on Dr. Hamilton Web site as a client.

I consider Dr. Hamilton a poor choice on academic and ethical grounds to represent school systems. That Broward did not exercise equal opportunity but made a buddy hire also concerns me.

Dr. Hamilton rose in the Hillsborough administration hierarchy by assisting Dr. Earl Lennard, then superintendent, to hound one Mr. Erwin out of the school system, deprived of his pension because Mr. Erwin discovered ongoing theft, bid-rigging, and graft in the administration’s conduct of the schools and asked Dr. Lennard and his lieutenants to stop it. Mr. Erwin also appealed to the board. Both did nothing to clean up the crime but gave Mr. Erwin the runaround and tried to convince him and others that he was crazy in order to continue the scams.

After two years of being ignored, harassed, and reputed crazy, Mr. Erwin filed and won a Whistleblower lawsuit against the board with a $165,000 settlement paid by taxpayers for administration and board criminality. None of the school participants received punishment. Some of the worst offenders in the covcr-up like Dr. Hamilton rather gained status.

While at Hillsborough, Dr. Hamilton did not let ethics or professionalism deter him from getting what he wanted. He had his protégée Ms. Connie Mileto get the job of government representative in Tallahassee instead of more qualified candidates-. She was a kindergarten teacher. Ms. Mileto remains in that position today. Rumor says that Dr. Hamilton has returned to the domestic hearth to scheme to extract more taxpayer money by becoming lobbyist to multiple school boards that do not advertise the job but hire him in the old’ boy network of school administrators who degrade Florida’s public education.

Dr. Hamilton has an absolute gift for milking money from taxpayers. And he has no shame.

For example, current superintendent Elia created Dr. Hamilton a $140,000 administrative job on his retirement last year. She put his name on the faux job before it appeared in the employment records. Dr. Hamilton apparently used tax-paid time under the aegis of this created job to cold-call state school boards to get himself a list of clients. When Dr. Hamilton had filled his client list of six school boards and the state association of school administrators in a little over after half a year, he left Hillsborough to lobby. Ms. Elia erased his boutique job from the books. Cost to the taxpayers for the featherbedding: $70,000 to $80,000. The board’s reaction? Its members ignored the scam. The board routinely pretends it does not know when such outrages on the taxpayers take place.

Ms. Elia signed Dr. Hamilton up as the board’s state lobbyist without advertising the job as he exited.

The board cooperated with the Hamilton featherbedding job raid and other raids on the public purse and assaults on equal-employment-opportunity. Its members pretend not to be aware of compromising situations, the default board stance of deniability. Its members swear by the truth of their logo of “We are an equal-employment opportunity employer” and gad about the Bay Area to public dinners, luncheons, and other powwows pretending they are the saviors of education.

Since I taught college English for twenty-eight years, I noted Dr. Hamilton's relative illiteracy despite his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. His email revealed that he did not know the difference between "your" and "you're"; a report he wrote advising new board members how to conduct themselves showed minimal knowledge of grammar and punctuation, frail grasp of organization and development, and complete lack of rhetorical felicity.

Retirement does not stop the Hamilton parasitism on taxpayers. He today has a lobbying portfolio of six Florida school districts and Florida Association of School Administrators that pay him big tax dollars. His is a case of double-dipping with a vengeance.

I asked your help several weeks ago in getting Broward County's school board, one of Dr. Hamilton's clients, to yield me public information about his hiring: I requested Broward’s board secretary’s notes on discussion of the job; employment ad, where the board published it, and applications of the defeated candidates. I got no response from two requests for these data to the Broward board.

After the second unanswered request for public information from Broward, I asked your help in getting a school board which you supervise to obey the public-information law.

You have not responded either, sir.

I ask again for your response to my request. I will expect your help with any obdurate boards among Dr. Hamilton’s other schools’ clients as well. His Web site lists Florida Association of School Administrators; Marion County Public Schools; School Board of Brevard County ; School Board of Manatee County; School Board of Sarasota County; School District of Hillsborough County ; School District of Osceola County ; School Board of Lake County, The St. Johns County School District as clients. The attorney for Marion writes me that Dr. Hamilton is not a lobbyist for Marion County school board, but the citation remains on Dr. Hamilton’s lobbying Web site.

If you do not have authority in this matter, pray direct me to the person in state government who does.

Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 22708


Governor Crist

Attorney General McCollum

Mr. Pablo Diaz

Ms. JoAnn Carin

Lt. Governor Jeff Kott Camp

Dr. Machen

Ms. Beverly Morris

Be vigilant on openness

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist deserves high marks for renewing Florida's commitment to government in the sunshine. Just in the past year, his open government office has trained 2,000 state employees on responding to public information requests. And his open government commission has recommended ways to refresh Florida's commitment in the digital age. But assuring sunshine in government requires constant vigilance, particularly during a legislative session.

That is why the news media in Florida and across the country have established Sunshine Week from March 15-21, organized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Florida law requires public notice of any meetings where decisions are made by elected officials, and government records are presumed open to the public unless there is a specific exemption in state law. But even in Florida, where voters enshrined government in the sunshine in the state Constitution in 1992, there are new assaults annually on open government.

Among the bad ideas circulating in the Legislature this year:

• Bar public education institutions from releasing identifying information of current and former employees. The measure offered by Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, SB 1260, and Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville, HB 409, would prevent public schools and colleges from providing the names, addresses, phone numbers and employment status of teachers, administrators and school board members. The exemption would make it extremely difficult for parents to investigate their children's public schools. And the proposed law would have hindered a recent series by the St. Petersburg Times about government employees who earn both a paycheck and a state pension — so-called double-dippers. The legislation would have made it impossible to see how many educators were double-dipping.

• Hide the names, addresses and phone numbers of stalking victims in voter registration records. State law already allows stalking victims to have their addresses exempted from all public records. But it is not okay to have anonymous voters on the rolls as SB 2144, sponsored by Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, would allow. You can't protect the integrity of an election process when some of the voters are named John and Jane Doe.

• Prohibit disclosure without a court order — except to a victim's family — of any crime scene photos and videos that include a severe injury or deceased person. The measure, HB 277 and SB 636, sponsored by Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, would make it harder to examine the integrity of police investigations and unearth mistakes or cover-ups.

But for all the possible assaults on open government this session, there is also a chance to improve it. Lawmakers should approve the following:

• "The Florida Budget Openness Act" would give Floridians online access to state and local government expenditures and revenues. It follows one of the key recommendations of the open government commission, which would give citizens electronic access to see how their government spends tax dollars. The proposal, HB 971 and SB 1972, sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, would direct that a Web site be created to track the fiscal details of every government entity in the state including local governments, the courts, the Legislature, school districts, state colleges, etc. Interested in how much a city's parks department is paying in salaries? Call up the Web site. Want to know how much bond debt your county is carrying? It would be there. The Web site would give taxpayers the power to understand just how their money is being spent. It would be a tremendous boon to civic activism and engagement.

• Allow foster parents and people considering adoption access to certain parts of a child's case files. The Department of Children and Families is supporting SB 126, sponsored by Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, which would make it easier for the adults caring for a child who has been removed from a home due to abuse or neglect to have access to that child's history. The child would also have access to their own file at no cost. Right now it takes a court order — an expensive and cumbersome process — to open these records.

There are a host of other good ideas available for elected officials to embrace in the report by the open government commission. State lawmakers and local government leaders interested in proving their commitment to the public should take them up, such as a proposal to bar public officials from using electronic communications devices during public meetings.

To his credit, Crist has made open government a priority for his administration. So should Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul. They should persuade lawmakers to reject dangerous new exemptions to public records law and promote those measures that would lead to more citizen access. Each elected official bears the constitutional responsibility to keep Florida in the sunshine.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Was Cut Out To Be a Detective

Here's the scam that Ms. Elia will use to get her next recruitment lolly

The Special Ed Concierge has left a new comment on your post "On the Trail of Dr. Hamilton": Some readers may see the implication of my advice to Superintendents across the state. Find out what the latest trend of student promotion there is going to be, then get it written into your contract.PRO on HCPS: Take Care Of The Pennies And The Dollars Will Look After Themselves: "Free advice to school superintendents across the state:Get wording into your contract with your local school board that pays you a bonus for every black student enrolled in the 'House Call

Program" Publish this comment. Reject this comment. Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by The Special Ed Concierge to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 8:59 AM

Ms. Morris, attorbet Marion County: Dr. Hamilton has had Marion County listed as a client since 1/6/09.

lee drury de cesare

March 19, 2009
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2009 Legislative Lobbyist
The "Industry Code" listed below each principal address states the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that most accurately describes the principal’s main business. You may view the full list of codes and titles on the site:
James P. Hamilton
Mailing Address:119 E Park Ave Tallahassee, FL 32301 Phone Number: 850/222-2591 Principals: Florida Association of School Administrators 206 S Monroe St Tallahassee, FL 32301
Industry Code: 813920
Effective: 01/06/2009
Marion County Public Schools 512 SE 3rd St Ocala, FL 34471
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009
School Board of Brevard County 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Vieia, FL 32940
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009
School Board of Manatee County 215 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34206
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009
School Board of Sarasota County 1960 Landings Blvd Sarasota, FL 34231
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009
School District of Hillsborough County 901 E Kennedy Blvd Tampa, FL 33602
Industry Code: 611110
Effective: 01/06/2009
School District of Osceola County 817 Bill Beck Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34744
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009
Schoool Board of Lake County, The 201 W Burleigh Blvd Tavares, FL 32778
Industry Code: 611110
Effective: 01/12/2009
St. Johns County School District 40 Orange St St Augustine, FL 32084
Industry Code: 611710
Effective: 01/06/2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the Trail of Dr. Hamilton

A reader sent me the list of lobbying clients of Dr. Hamilton. The reader was right on Broward but wrong on Marion County it appears. I infer the reader's being right on Broward because its board has not answered two emails I sent for public information.

I take it as a good sign that the inquiry to Marion had an attorney answer it. I think that means that the school boards are becoming more aware of the force of the open-records law.

When I first started asking for public records from the Hillsborough Public Affairs office, people told me I would not get the records, but I did pretty well. Sometimes I had to nag, but eventually I got what I asked for. Linda Cobbe handles this part of Public Affairs.

Now I have to find out the names of Dr. Hamilton's clients in addition to Hillsborough and Broward. This is an equal-employment opportunity case. They all claim to be equal-employment-opportunity employers. But they keep on hiring buddies, relatives, and sycophants without advertising the jobs. I need their admission that they did not advertise the lobbying job.

Then I have to see whether it is best to attack the scofflaws with Title VII or asking the federal government to pull their contracts because of their non-compliance with the equal-opportunity riders on the federal contracts. These contracts represent a lot of money. Money they understand. Ethics they don't. lee


Mr. Lee Drury De Cesare 15316 Gulf Boulevard 802 Madeira Beach, Florida 33708

I serve as general counsel for the School Board of Marion County, Florida.
Florida Department of Education Associate General Counsel Paula H. Roberts forwarded me a copy of your February 21, 2009 email addressed to a "Dr. Smith." In that email you make reference to your two previous requests to the Marion County School Board for an advertisement for the "Iobbyist-for-the-county" job, "applications for the job that you gave to Dr. Jim Hamilton", a copy of Mr.' Hamilton's contract, the "secretary's notes on the board discussion of the job".

You state that you have received none of this information. In fact, on January 21, 2009 Kevin Christian, Public Relations Officer for the Marion County School Board, notified you that the Marion County School Board does not have a vendor by the name of Dr. Jim Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton is not an employee of the Marion County School Board nor does he provide services by contract to the Marion County School Board.

The Marion County School Board does not have a "Iobbyist-forthe-county" position. It has not at any time accepted applications for such a position. There is no contract between the School Board and Dr. Jim Hamilton. The current School Board has discussed neither the position nor Dr. Jim Hamilton.

Mr. Lee Drury De Cesare March 9, 2009
Page 2
There are no public records available which respond to your public information request.
Yours truly,
Beverly A. Morris
cc: Paula H. Roberts, Esquire, Associate General Counsel, Florida Department of
Education (via facsimile 850-245-9379)
James Yancey, Superintendent
Bobby L. James, Chairman
Kevin Christian

My informant has come through. I will continue with the list. lee

The Special Ed Concierge has left a new comment on your post "On the Trail of Dr. Hamilton": according to this website,Lobbyist - James P. Hamilton, this is what it says:Lobbyist:James P. Hamilton 119 E Park AveTallahassee, FL32301(850)222-2591 View by Year:

All Years 2009 2008 2007 11 Principals:Florida Association of School Administrators Lifelock Inc Marion County Public Schools School Board of Brevard County School Board of Lake County The School Board of Manatee County School Board of Sarasota CountySchool District of Hillsborough County School District of Osceola County Schoool Board of Lake CountySt Johns County School District Publish this comment. Reject this comment. Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by The Special Ed Concierge to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 1:55 PM

As the World Turns

Gentle Blog Readers:
News: Political Whore

I ran across the column below that commented on my La Gaceta columnist days.

I thought some of my current readers may not have read Mr. Garcia's comment on my exit from La Gaceta. What he writes about my departure from newspaper work is accurate. And today I see it as propitious because as a blogger I don't have an editor. As nice as Patrick is, he was a stickler for allusions in my column that he saw as marginal in his paper's ethos. It's his paper: his grandfather founded it. His father continued it. Now he is in the driver's seat.

I imagine Ms. Elia may regret my departing from La Gaceta. Bloggers are their own editors. As a free-at-last blogger, I revealed Jennifer Falliero's school-grounds adultery that caused the administration to fire Marc Hart, the head of Public Affairs, to protect Ms. Falliero's reputation. I got a rebuke from the Godfather school-board attorney Gonzalez for calling Falliero "Pole Girl" in my blog. She will be forever "Pole Girl" to me. She wrecked a marriage and caused two little children to have their psyches distorted by a father's desertion of their mother for an adulteress. Nobody can shut me up from featuring the seamy tale on my blog and what it says about the calibre of people running for the school board and the thugs who run the schools.

I also revealed that rumor says that Elia uses the "f" word constantly in her officed harrangues in her employee conferences. I doubt Patrick would have let that revlation pass editorial scrutiny.

One of the best First-Amendment lawyers in town told me that people don't sue bloggers because bloggers have no money and no insurance against lawsuits. Newspapers do. That is what makes them targets for people trying to milk money from a lawsuit with them on First-Amendment grounds. The people who sue the newspapers usually lose. Judges are not fond of getting tarred with anti-First-Amendment decisions. That stops their climb up the bench. But the adventurers in First-Amendment suppression blackmail newspapers with the incipient threat of a lawsuit for libel. It hamstrings the timid press. But its members allow themselves to be hamstrung. The Crusading Press is a shopworn myth. It has died and been buried in prime graveyard real estate amongst the other community muckety-mucks. When it comes to fighting the thugs' takeover of the county schools as is the case in Hillsborough, the press is timid or silent.

Taking up blogging instead of being a columnist freed me to write what I want to write. I would be proud to sit in a jail cell working on one of my granddaughters' needlepoint rugs to vindicate the First Amendment. My ten grandchildren would go mad with glee that granny was in jail. I would become a legend in the family history, a subject of celebration at all Thanksgiving dinners. I would make my family proud of me in perpetuity.

What more could a granny want? lee

News: Political Whore
Reading Between the Lines
Published 05.31.06

Wayne Garcia

For those who read the tea leaves of local politics, two recent newspaper columns provide some clues to the condition of Tampa Bay's two school superintendents.
First, the case of the disappearing columnist.

A few weeks back, columnist Lee Drury DeCesare left La Gaceta, the highly political trilingual weekly that is an important tout sheet for local political insiders. For those who've never read DeCesare's column, here is an excerpt that captures her acidic and highly stylized approach, in this case a complaint to Gov. Jeb Bush about DeCesare's favorite target, Hillsborough Superintendent MaryEllen Elia:

"La Elia et al do not deal with school problems such as non-performing schools, hiring irregularities, or real-estate cheats with alacrity but react with dispatch when any source threatens their right to abuse power and manipulate tax dollars for administrative bloated salaries and delusions of éclat."

DeCesare is, to be sure, infuriating for those who found themselves in her sights. (She has on at least one occasion, I confess, criticized Political Whore for saying nice things about Pinellas Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.) She harangued and nitpicked journalists and school officials for grammatical lapses. She wrote with an almost Victorian density. She was the woman who rose from her seat at a Tiger Bay Club meeting to ask Charlie Crist if he was gay.

Her column was often a parody of muckraking and her reporting loose -- at best. But she is also that rare breed: a hellraiser. The former teacher and labor union organizer remains a hard-core feminist and education advocate. She is the only voice questioning administrators on both sides of the bay with a consistently pro-teacher, anti-administration take that you just don't find in the mainstream dailies.

So it is not surprising that she cheesed off the Hillsborough school system pretty good. A few weeks back, her boss, La Gaceta publisher Patrick Manteiga, found himself at a meeting with Elia. He says he didn't know the subject of the meeting would turn to his columnist DeCesare.

"I was having a meeting for one purpose, and I guess she was having the meeting for another purpose," Manteiga relates. "She was encouraging employees to sue the paper for stepping over the line" in one of DeCesare's columns.

DeCesare had been dogging two female bureaucrats in the Hillsborough school system, and in one column, she questioned how they got their high-paying jobs, writing that tax dollars "shouldn't subsidize any casting-room-couch-employment protocols."

Manteiga said Elia had counseled the two employees that they could have a libel suit and asked the publisher to back off the criticism. Did she juxtapose that request with, say, the $11,388.62 in advertising that the school system spent in the past 12 months with La Gaceta? "No comment," is all that Manteiga will say. DeCesare, however, doesn't demur.

"That's extortion. That's a classic ACLU case," DeCesare says. She wishes Manteiga had told Elia "to go to hell." But she concedes that a small weekly is in no position to defend libel lawsuits, and it's not in Manteiga's nature to pick a fight with Elia. "He's a sweet, good man. But he's not a fighter. I'm a fighter."

Elia, for her part, is a bit mystified by the dust-up and said she never asked for DeCesare's departure; she felt a responsibility to tell the publisher of the possible lawsuits to come. "I told Patrick, you and I know we've had a long relationship with your newspaper," Elia says. "What I said was, this was unacceptable. I am telling my employees they have the option to go forward and move on a lawsuit against the newspaper for printing that." She vehemently denies any hint of threatening La Gaceta's advertising.

Manteiga says DeCesare's column did go too far, and he adds that he edited out at least five previous sexually related allegations in her work. "Casting-room couch" got by his editing. "She kept throwing the same stone, eventually I missed it." When he asked her to tone it down and avoid libel, she resigned instead.

"Outside of that, Lee brought us a lot of readers, and that's not bad for a little newspaper," Manteiga says. "I love the First Amendment, and this was a real test of how much I love it. I read things about people I like [in DeCesare's columns] and it was real tough to put those comments in my newspaper." But despite unending criticism from Tampa's powerful, he kept her around, figuring that "just because I don't like what you say is an awkward reason for getting rid of someone."

No one should have to bear being libeled. But what happened to DeCesare does smack of press intimidation -- like killing a gnat with a cannon.
Hillsborough schools have plenty of room for self-examination. The St. Petersburg Times earlier this year wrote with painstaking detail how the school system used no-bid, handpicked real estate brokers to buy land for schools, paying high prices and fees to brokers who, in some cases, may have flipped properties to inflate values. Those problems came on Elia's watch. Elia promised quick change and delivered some.

Those issues, among others, are no doubt fodder for the fall elections; 10 candidates are running for three seats on the School Board, with incumbents being challenged in two of those seats.

Turning to the other newspaper column now, this one bodes poorly for Elia's Pinellas counterpart, Wilcox.

A week ago Sunday, May 21, the St. Petersburg Times ran a most unusual editorial, with a editorial sidebar from President and Editor Paul Tash. The Times had previously done some excellent work surveying local teachers and reporting on how professionally unhappy they are. The main editorial's headline on this Sunday was: "A crisis of morale in Pinellas schools."

That was quite a distance from the editorial board's unbridled enthusiasm for Wilcox just a year and a half ago, when the Sunday headline read, "Wilcox brings in winds of change."

Tash's sidebar column, which ran with his picture, made the editorial page disapproval that much more devastating. Tash related how his wife is a teacher and his parents were teachers. "So for me, our stories last week hit a particular nerve," he wrote.

The sea change in the Times editorial stance toward Wilcox doesn't bode well for his future. He has infuriated a renegade teacher group and the two school board members they elected; disappointed the union that represents the bulk of the teachers by failing to deliver real reform; and hangs by an often 4-3 vote on the school board. There aren't too many constituency groups still on board the Wilcox train; the Times support for him as an agent of change tended to compensate for that. Before a week ago Sunday.

Lee DeCesare's writing can be found online at Political Whore can be reached by e-mail at, by telephone at 813-739-4805 or on our blog at

From: Anonymous [] Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:16 PMTo: tdecesar@tampabay.rr.comSubject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch] New comment on As the World Turns.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "As the World Turns": It is not surprising that Elia bullied Manteiga. She bullies anyone who gets in her way of her bonus money or who shines a light on her shenanigans. The woman is a menace, yet the school board allows her to rake in taxpayer dollars so she can continue to bully all her employees. Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 6:56 PM

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Ghost of Mr. Erwin Won't Go Away

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "C...": I think you should keep reminding the board about Doug Erwin. They don't want his name brought up, b/c it was a big scandal at the time, and EVERYONE in Tampa knew Erwin was telling the truth. He was known as a good guy by everyone who knew him, and many did know him. The board was scared of the press at the time, and the board and administration closed ranks and stuck together in an attempt to make him look like he is wrong or lying. But the entire city and county knew he was not. Your posting the Erwin files a while back showed how horribly they treated him, and people need to know about that. They would love for you to shut up about it, but don't. This case needs to haunt them the rest of their lives, because they attempted to destroy a good man. That is just plain evil. Publish this comment. Reject this comment. Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:40 PM

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "C...": Erwin case is telling. "Follow the money." Erwin brought to light questionable construction contracts. Also, reported internal corruption. Same thing happening at HCC. Publish this comment. Reject this comment. Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 4:54 PM

A good thing about my losing my computer's hard drive and having to hustle to get another computer was that I had a few days to clean out my desk. Lo, I found a stash of Erwin files that I never got on the computer. I will begin copying them soon. Presently I am engaged in writing the state superintendent to make Broward School Board honor my public-information on the hiring of Dr. Hamilton, one of the chief crooks in the Erwin case, as its lobbyist.

One of the worst things about the K12 bureaucracy is its incestuous hiring practices. This closed system that passes the bloated-pay top jobs around to a circle of C- and D-student dumbasses like Hamilton. These dumb=down the schools from the top with negative impact on students and teachers.

I am also writing Dr. Machem, president of UF, complaining that despite being marginally illiterate, Le Hamilton got a PH.D. there. Since Hamilton's writing showed him to be illiterate, I am sure he bought and paid for his. I wonder if he bought off the thesis committee. I am going to complain and send a copy to the hoity-toity group that monitors university quality in the state.

The effort to shut up Mr. Erwin came from the top. So the top must have been knee deep in graft. The same is true of HCC.

I know how bad HCC is. I fought the administration the entire 28 years I was there. My latest sally at HCC was to keep the administration from firing all the elderly women in the bookstore whom I had worked with. The administration wanted to replace the in-house bookstore with a commercial outfit. One of the women had just had a brain operation, for goodness sake. These old women would never have gotten anything but minimum-wage jobs with no medical benefits. Clearly the HCC administration thought a national outfit would yield more graft opportunities than the in-house situation.

But a few of the bookstore women's and my jumping up and down at a series of meetings saved their jobs. I accused the board and administration of putting the bookstore women on an ice floe and pushing them out to sea to die like the Eskimoes do with their old people. I didn't hold back. What's the good of being circumspect when you deal with thugs? There is no use being civilized when you challenge barbarians hip deep in graft.

The administration shut down my email access to the college. I called the division of community colleges, which made them turn it back on. The guy who ran against Kurdell was involved in shutting me up. He's the head of technology there. He denied it when he ran for office. I did the smart thing and sent him $200 and urged him to run again.

If you are going to fight these critters, you have to gird up your loins and wade in with all you've got. I think this a good way to spend one's leisure time.

I have lost all my files on my old hard drive. This above picture, taken at dinner on the ship by a waiter when I took one of my grandchildren on a cruise for her birthday, is the only one that has survived. I swear I am going to get one of those contraptions to save my files.