Weekend Buzz: Valentino tape edited,Facebook gets another employee fired

Sheriff David Morgan sent the Florida Ethics Commission his formal response to ex-County Commissioner Gene Valentino’s complaint against him.

Of the four complaints made by Valentino, the one that has received the most attention in the media concerns is a voice message the sheriff left the commissioner over three years ago. Valentino described the message left on his commission office phone as “threatening and intimidating” and placed him “at fear for his life.”

The clip of the voice message that played on WEAR TV was heavily edited, leaving out much of the message.

In his formal response, Sheriff Morgan provided the context of the phone call and gave a transcript of the entire message. In July 2011, the sheriff learned that then-County Administrator Randy Oliver intended to give presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on his budget without notifying the sheriff and allowing his staff to speak on any of the issues.

He called each of the commissioners, not just Valentino, and expressed his displeasure with Oliver’s tactics. Here is the transcript of the voicemail left on Valentino’s phone:

“Commissioner, this is Sheriff Morgan and it’s about 5:15. When you get this message, give me a buzz, but if you don’t have time to answer it I’ll leave you a message. I do not concur with Randy Oliver’s presentation tomorrow to the Board of County Commissioners. One page specifically is incorrect. I’m not sure where Mr. Oliver is coming from, but I reiterate to you that I ain’t happy. If this goes forward, you know bring your flak vest and helmet because there will fireworks and blood in the water because this tactic I do not appreciate.”

Listen to the entire message –

Allen, Norton & Blue, the sheriff’s attorneys, wrote that the sheriff’s tone was respectful and professional that in no way can be construed as a threat or intimidation tactic. Furthermore, the allegation doesn’t fail under the Florida Ethics Code.

The lawyers said, “Rather, Complainant appears to be seeking another forum to pursue his failed criminal complaint on the same issue which was immediately dismissed by the State Attorney’s Office because no reasonable person could view the Sheriff’s language as any kind of actual threat.”

Newk’s Eatery employee fired
An employee at the Pensacola restaurant Newk’s posted a hate-filled comment to an article he shared about the two police officers shot this past weekend in New York City.

Rodrick Cunningham posted on his personal Facebook – “Thats what happens when u f#$k with black people…Yess lawd..Shot then bitches execution style..Thats what i love to hear”

The post went viral and several people complained to Newk’s. Cunningham was fired. Newk’s posted yesterday this statement on its Pensacola Facebook page:

We were made aware of a situation this morning where one of our employees who is employed as a dishwasher, had posted something on his personal Facebook page. Some how through all of this he has been portrayed as a manager for our company. This was not even remotely the case. We found his comments to be inappropriate, offensive, and in no way a reflection of our core values, our beliefs, and our principles. We moved quickly as possible to inform this individual that he was terminated. We are sorry for any negativity this has caused the community. We have nothing but the utmost respect for the individuals that protect our communities. We hope that everyone will continue to support us in the overwhelming way Pensacola has done so far, and not judge us on the comments made by this individual who is no longer in our employment.

A few weeks ago, a Florida State University faculty member resigned about anti-gay remarks she posted on her Facebook page. This past September, Hopjacks fired a dishwasher who made disparaging post against the military on his personal Facebook page.