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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Indicted lawmaker is booted off panels
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 16, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - State Rep. Bob Allen was removed from his committee assignments Wednesday by House Speaker Marco Rubio, who said his fellow Republican can no longer effectively represent his constituents while he faces a prostitution charge.
Allen, R-Merritt Island, was charged with misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution after allegedly offering an undercover officer $20 to perform oral sex July 11 at a Titusville park, police said.
Rubio said in a statement that the House will respect Allen's right to defend himself against the charge but that public officials are judged by a higher standard than other citizens. The speaker removed Allen from the Energy Committee, which he had chaired, and the Environment and Natural Resources Council.
"The mere presumption of impropriety can interfere with our official function," Rubio said. "It is my personal belief that because of the allegations against him, Rep. Allen can no longer effectively serve the people of his district in the Florida House."
Allen, 48, said he respected Rubio's right to make committee changes, but that the speaker's comments insinuated he had already been proved guilty.
The representative again denied the charge. Term limits prevent him from seeking re-election to the House but he said he still planned to run for the state Senate.
Gov. Charlie Crist defended Rubio's move Wednesday.
"I have to respect the wishes of the speaker," he said. "It's a House issue, and the speaker's trying to do what's best for the body."