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Letters to the Editors

Writer has been watching too many crime shows

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2002

Editor: Re: No need to shoot to kill, March 20 letter to the editor from Tom Malone:

The first three words of Mr. Malone's letter, "I don't understand," seems to say it all as he attempts Monday morning quarterbacking. By dissecting his written thoughts, one can see he has no grasp of the reality of the situation.

Mr. Malone "doesn't understand" why deputies who were there to arrest a criminal on a warrant decided to shoot back at an individual who was trying to take their lives to avoid capture.

Mr. Malone asks, "Couldn't they shoot him in the leg?" His question reveals that Mr. Malone apparently spends too much of his time watching old crime shows and westerns on TV, where "good guys" simply shoot the guns out of the hands of desperados.

Mr. Malone states, "If he indeed fired at them first . . . " makes us believe that Mr. Malone had no need for the truth revealed in eyewitness reports.

Mr. Malone also asks why not "wait for backup?" Why ask why, Mr. Malone? Would additional officers have been able to stop an individual whose intent it was to escape by any means?

Mr. Malone also asks, "What did this man do that called for the taking of his life?" Why, he shot at the police, Mr. Malone. Weren't you listening?

Yes, Mr. Malone, only in America could an individual such as yourself attempt to comment on a situation such as this, and admit that "you don't understand."

I served as a police officer for 27 years and, unlike Mr. Malone, I understand.
-- Joseph A. Maggio, Spring Hill

Slain suspect was a dangerous felon

Editor: Re: No need to shoot to kill, March 20 letter to the editor from Tom Malone:

Letter-writer Malone was upset that deputies shot and killed a wanted felon in a Brooksville trailer park as he was running away? Wrong! He was facing the police and shooting at them.

Malone feels they should have tried to shoot him in the leg? Evidently, Mr. Malone has watched too many John Wayne movies.

Police are not taught to "wing" people. Their job is to stop a deadly incident as efficiently as possible. For $30,000 a year, I would not be willing to dodge bullets while aiming for the bad guy's ankles.

By the way, Mr. Malone, the dead guy also was suspected of numerous home invasions in Spring Hill, aside from his extensive violent record. Perhaps if he tiptoed into your bedroom at 3 a.m., you could have shot the gun out of his hand.
-- Gene Huber, Spring Hill

Some are insensitive to the disabled

Editor: Re: Parking spat turns ugly, March 14 Times:

I read with interest some of the ensuing letters to the editor regarding disabled parking spots.

As a newly disabled person, I was really interested in the subject. I can now tell you what I have discovered. There are more disabled people than there are parking spots. So, I was not surprised at the altercation at Oak Hill Hospital.

I call it "disabled parking spot rage."

Another peeve is the people who use disabled restroom facilities in public places. Twice in one week I waited at such a facility at a department store. Out walked a store employee, wearing a store tag. And, at a dining room, an employee in uniform.

Are these people insensitive or really don't care? On behalf of all disabled people, please give the disabled a break.
-- Margaret Carpenter, Spring Hill

Some county officials still lurking in shadows

Editor: The Hernando County Board of County Commissioners agreed, not unanimously, to dismissal, on his terms, of County Administrator Paul McIntosh for reasons relating to acceptance of gifts from business leaders.

At a commissioners' previous meeting, two commissioners voted in favor of, and three voted against, a motion to dismiss him for the same reasons.

Thereby, these three commissioners revealed a divisive board fearful of further disclosure of their own acceptance of gifts from those doing, or hoping to do, business with the county. Thus, they strengthened McIntosh's resolve to extract from scared commissioners a more-than-generous severance package. McIntosh promised in return not to sue the county for wrongful dismissal, which could be of incalculable (value). McIntosh is out of office. The threesome of commissioners remain in office for at least nine months. Still lurking in the shadows of Hernando County government are those who believe business is promoted best by gifts to influentials instead of by satisfied customers.
-- James A. Willan, Brooksville

"He was laughing all the way to the bank'

Editor: Paul McIntosh walked the plank,

And he's got only himself to thank.

It's sad in a way,

but I think he's okay.

He was laughing all the way to the bank.
-- John Albert, Spring Hill

Newcomer says: Stop your whining and carping

Editor: Re: County Administrator Paul McIntosh's departure:

As a newcomer to the Brooksville area (21/2 years ago), I have never lived in a county where there has been so much carping, back-biting and whining about county government. McIntosh was right about the local media accentuating the negative. The hypocritical, holier-than-thou atmosphere in Hernando County is like the smell of a cattle lot.

I cannot imagine any qualified administrator wanting to come to Hernando County to be micro-managed by people who know less than he does about managing government affairs. Why assistant administrator Dick Radacky would want to put himself further under the microscope is beyond comprehension.

McIntosh may have had his imperfections, but he was an able administrator. His shoddy treatment should be a warning to future applicants and other employees.
-- Paul Rekstad, Brooksville

Deputy should be rehired without restrictions

Editor: Deputy Anthony Mazza appears to have got caught up with the good-old-boys syndrome when he had to arrest a political figure (attorney Joseph Johnston Jr.) for breaking the law.

This former deputy appears to have done his job the way he was trained to do, but due to who broke the law, he almost lost his job. Now that a review committee recommended giving him back his position, with restrictions, I think it is very unfair to Mr. Mazza that the sheriff added to the board recommendations.

I remember reading an article a while back about a Hernando Sheriff's Office deputy discharging his weapon at Disney World. Now, if he was an ordinary citizen, we would have had about four or five felony charges put on us and cost us thousands of dollars to convince the court system that it was an accident. The end result of that story would have been prison time, but because he was a police officer, he was exonerated.

It appears you can shoot a gun in a very public place, be excused for it and keep your job as a police officer, but do your duty as a police officer in this county and end up losing your job. I just can't figure it out.

We have the same kind of administration then as we have now, just different people at the helm, just another good old boy playing politics.

I'd like to say one more thing to Sheriff Richard Nugent: If the majority of that committee voted to give him his job back, what is your problem with those recommendations? Sheriff Nugent, it appears that by putting further restrictions on him other than what the board recommended, you do not want Mr. Mazza back on the job.

Sheriff Nugent, there is an old saying, "What goes around comes around." Before that happens, give the man back his job with only the review board's recommendations.
-- Gary Mercer, Spring Hill

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