Even more Valentino emails….you have to read them

June 5, 2009

More than 150 pages of emails have been released by Commissioner Gene Valentino on his dealings with the proposed bingo casino on Perdido Key. I’m pouring through them now. Here is one interesting set that was sent out on the day Carlton Proctor wrote in the PNJ about a meeting between Valentino and residents at Beach Colony Resort.

March 14 email to Cy Keefer

    “I’ve fluffed off the folks and put their minds at ease with your comments to a few at the Beach Colony location…That Beach Colony group really pissed me off. I specifically asked that there be no reporters or recordings.”

There’s another email to Travis Peterson blasting the Beach Colony group:

    “The non-resident citizens at Beach Colony Resort were reckless: accusing me of ‘going to the dark side,’ in the pockets of developers and also suggesting that the Indians who came with me were a bunch of bums.”

Later that same day, Valentino sends another email to Keefer. Apparently Keefer is having surgery or medical procedure. The relationship appears to be more than just a prospective new business for the county. You see why the Beach Colony folks thought Valentino may in the pocket of the developers.

    “At the Jellyfish Bar, you called me your ‘friend’. You said you had few true friends. I hope I’ve lived up to the standard.

That is also an email to Julian MacQueen that replies to MacQueen sending him talking points on the future of hotels on Perdido Key.

Valentino writes:

    “I am planning a PR effort of my own. I regret my PR choice was not employed initially. This alleged behavior of the other firm that allegedly leak this to the press, has caused all of us to deal this after the information got out to the press. I have remain absolutely supportive of the project for you, Cy’s group, not to mention the Creeks. As a result I have some political fall-out to address. The transparency I’ve professed through my Precinct Leader System, was compromised in this not getting out ahead of news reporter ‘spin’ that occurred. I spent ‘political capital’, but admittedly you guys put up the cash. I feel I must take measures into my own hands at this point: repairing what happened. “

    He closes with “You are protected. I’m still on board. Your philosophy is right on! The entire position statement, whatever I write, will come from me.”

I think the PR firm is Jane Birdwell & BPM. If so, this may cause some issues because Birdwell also has the tourism marketing contract for Perdido Key. She in fact recently made a presentation for 2009-2010 funding before the Escambia Co. TDC.

I don’t know what Valentino means by “you guys put up the cash.” What cash? And to whom?

Read march-14-emails

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  • Oh, Gene! June 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    […] Rick’s Blog: “Even more Valentino emails….you have to read them” […]

  • Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Thanks Rick! Great reporting, stay on the case!!

  • $Again June 5, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Not shocked Jane Birdwell’s PR firm is involved in this scandal.