Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fire Renee Lee

The Hillsborough County Commission needs to fire County Attorney Renee Lee. She has repeatedly proven herself to be undeserving of serving in government. Lee was investigated for potential criminal wrongdoing when she awarded former County Administrator Pat Bean. Pay increases as to be approved by commission members. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated Lee and Bean. Criminal charges were not filed. However, the report is seriously damaging to Lee's reputation.

Lee's pay raise

”February 26, 2007

The accountant for Lee, Kathy Taylor noticed Williams signature where Jim

Norman would normally sign, indicating BOCC approval of Lee’s salary increase.

Taylor does not say anything to anyone but Novak and they both remark in an

email correspondence, this date and, in part, “oh well.” Novak advised she made

the remark because Lee was always “pushing the financial envelope” regarding

salary, outside counsel expenses and spending issues in the County Attorney’s

Office. Taylor and Novak advised they did not feel ‘it was their place’ to say

anything. Both later acknowledged a fear of Lee’s position and influential power.

Norman was suppose to be the person that was suppose to approve of the pay increase. It gets more bizarre. Lee gave herself an award.

Lee sent the following email to Bean and Hill subject titled “Extra Mile Award”:

After attending the Budget kick off meeting this morning Beth (Novak) reminded

me that a provision in my contract allows me to receive the award…see page 10,

Section E. Hillsborough agrees to make available to the attorney such other

benefits that are not specifically covered by this agreement as they now exist,

and may be amended from time to time, for other employees of Hillsborough. . .

Thank you for the award. FDLE Special Agents interviewed Novak who did not

remember “reminding” Lee about a “provision in her contract” and found the

content of this email unusual as Novak had no prior legal training or experience.

32. Michelle Sekouri, Executive Assistant to the County Administrator followed Bean

into Bean’s office on an unrelated matter, after a meeting at which Lee was not

present. Sekouri was present when Hill walked into Bean’s office holding up a

piece of paper and asked Bean, ‘Did you see this?’ Sekouri testified Bean

advised she had not seen what Sekouri believed to be the aforementioned email

from Lee, dated February 02, 2007 subject titled,” Extra Mile Award.” Sekouri

testified Hill advised Bean that Lee wanted the one percent salary increase. Bean

was surprised at this news. Bean and Hill then engaged in discussion regarding

Bean and Garrity’s eligibility for the award. Bean advised Hill to get with the

human resources department in order to resolve the matter. Sekouri testified she

recalled details regarding the event because she could not forget the look of

surprise on Bean’s face.

Apparently, Lee took the advise of an unqualified subordinate to say she was worthy of an award. The Chutzpah of this woman is staggering.

Lee lies about not wanting pay raise.

The FLDE report on October 27, Mike Salinero from the Tampa Tribune calls Lee and says that Christina Swanson, from the County's Human Resources Dept., indicated that Lee wanted to be included in the group that received 1% pay raises. The report then says that Swanson told Special FDLE Agent Patricia Thompson, "that Lee engaged her in a conversation leading Swanson to believe Lee was trying to change Swanson’s recollection of the events." (But Swanson says she never changed her story).

In March of 2010, Renee Lee wrote to the BOCC that "neither I nor any member of my office has ever independently initiated a request for any Commissioner’s or IPA's emails. All e-mail searches performed by this office were pursuant to third party requests for

public records," which based on everything that the FDLE has reported up to now, is false.

The Florida Commission on Ethics has found probable cause that former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White violated ethics by sexually harassing a staffer. The commissioner will soon announce a final ruling.

White lost a sexual harassment suit filed by the staffer. The Hillsbough County Commission made the idiotic mistake of paying for White's legal fees. The commission is now attempting to get White to pay the cost. White claims he does not have the money. However, White recently bought a house in Riverview. White seems to be doing well for someone who claims to be financially insolvent.

Lee represents the Hillsborough County Commission on legal matters. That didn't stop her from setting up lunch with White at Roy's Restaurant. (I gotta say that the menu looks rather boring.)

To say that Lee is on White's side is an understatment. Her meeting and friendship with White is a glaring conflict of interest. Check out her text to White about the bad publicity he received for the purchase of the house.

Yes lunch is on. What about Tuesday? I have been hurt for you guys by the publicity this week. Don't let them steal your joy.

After the story of White's and Lee's lunch date broke - Lee texted to White that sh told television journalist Mike Deeson about meeting White. It is obvious that Lee and White are colluding together to get their stories straight.


I saw Deeson's story in the news clips today and just wanted you to know that I did not tell anyone that I "bumped" into you. I decided early on that there was no reason to lie.


That's fine he never called me, and I know the commissioners could not contact me

Fire Lee. Now! I can't think of a single good reason this woman should keep her job.

You can read the full phone texts below. Click to image twice to make the text larger.

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