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Thursday October 30th 2014

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Winners & Losers 11/24/11

WINNERS

WILSON ROBERTSON The Escambia County Commissioner won’t have to worry about any ethics investigations interfering with his Thanksgiving holiday. The Florida Attorney General, Commission on Ethics and State Attorney’s Office have passed on looking into his alleged interference in the hiring of Forrest Gibbs as the marketing coordinator for the Escambia County Equestrian Center. State Attorney’s investigators interviewed both Robertson and Gibbs and eight other witnesses and found nothing wrong.

BARACK OBAMA The President is doing far better at attracting grass-roots financial support this year than his Republican rivals–$56 million in small donations for Obama and his party. He’s doing better than he did in 2008 when he came out of nowhere to beat out Hilary Clinton and John Edwards. Meanwhile, the GOP field continues to look like the clown car in the circus.

BEVERLY PATTESON The recently fired head of Episcopal Day School may be headed for a job with the Escambia County Public School District. Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has created a position—Executive Assistant to the Superintendent—with a salary range of $52,856 to $64,430. The new job was posted Wednesday, Nov. 16 and will close on Nov. 28, a clear indication Superintendent Thomas already has someone in mind for the position.

LOSERS

STEPHEN NODINE Baldwin County Circuit Judge Charles Partin denied a request by murder suspect Stephen Nodine’s attorneys to dismiss charges in the death of his girlfriend, Angel Downs. Partin also granted a request by special prosecutor David Whetstone to dismiss a misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent homicide that District Attorney Hallie Dixon obtained from a new grand jury she impaneled earlier this year.

PAUL HAWKES The First District Court judge is resigning from the court to avoid an ethics trial before the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Hawkes was charged in May with conduct unbecoming a judge, destroying public records and intimidating state employees involved in the construction of the court’s new $50 million courthouse that many have dubbed a “Taj Mahal.”

BP Federal prosecutors have alleged BP, one of the three big oil producers operating on Alaska’s North Slope, is “a recidivist offender and repeated violator of environmental laws and regulations.” They are calling for BP to be placed on probation, which it’s been on and off in Alaska since 2000. If the judge agrees, BP could face additional fines, and the government may bring felony charges stemming from a 2009 spill that dumped 13,500 gallons of oil onto the tundra near Prudhoe Bay.