On Thanksgiving Day, the Winners & Losers staff sat around on their couches with bloated bellies and texted in their suggestions for the 2010 IN Turkey Awards—those decisions and acts that were the stupidest of the year.
GREG BROWN SIGN-GATE The son of Santa Rosa County property appraiser Greg Brown was in a tight race for the Florida House. He and his wife became YouTube sensations when they were caught on video allegedly stealing his opponent’s campaign signs. Brown lost the race and now faces misdemeanor charges for petty theft.
PEEPING MARK George Touart supporter and prolific blogger Mark Clabaugh was caught peeping into the windows of the Star Lake home of Karen Sindel, who was running for county commissioner against Touart. Clabaugh pleaded no contest to trespassing and was given six months probation. Touart placed a distant fourth in the Republican primary.
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE When City Attorney Rusty Wells was caught sending emails during a city council meeting blasting his employers and joking that he wished he could surf porn instead, members of the Pensacola City Council felt compelled to give Wells a vote of confidence for his long service to the city. What you permit, you promote.
TO REBID OR TO NOT REBID The Escambia County Commission got caught in nearly destroying the sealed bid process when it first voted to rebid a drainage project when Roads, Inc. claimed that it had made a clerical error in its bid. Fortunately, the commissioners reconsidered and awarded the contract to the low bidder. The state attorney did investigate this, but no charges were filed over the bid process.
TICK TOCK GANG Former council members Marty Donovan and Jack Nobles tried one last ditch effort to derail the maritime park with a petition drive on the construction contract. They found themselves struggling to get signatures and failed to deliver the petition to City Hall before the deadline. Donovan and Nobles spent that Friday night driving around Pensacola begging someone, anyone, to take their box of signatures.
THOMAS’ ALBATROSS The Escambia County Superintendent of Schools thought he had a sucker for the ancient Brownsville Middle School that has been closed for over three years. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is interested, but Thomas refuses to put its offer on the School Board agenda. His Krispy Kreme diplomacy has left him looking like a petty dictator. We anxiously await the revelation of his mystery buyers who have been in the wings for 18 months.
SRIA HONEY POT In 1997, the Santa Rosa Island Authority reached an agreement with Portofino Resort for $6 million of its lease fees to be paid into a beach improvement fund to be used for infrastructure and landscaping. The $6 million won’t be collected for eight years. The SRIA board has let the Portofino developer dictate how the money is used. The fact that they don’t have the money hasn’t stopped them from spending it—sort of sounds like the Obama Administration.