N Saturday, December 20, 2014
   
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Persecution of Ben Pingree Unfair and Unwarranted

Letters-EditorDear Editor:

Where to begin?

The harassment of the County's administrative staff has culminated with Mr. Pingree having to defend himself, on air, against unspecified charges, yet again. These allegations  have created a very hostile workplace for the entire staff, and undoubtedly contributed to Mr. Pingree's stress related hospitalization. Due to recent events, Commissioner Stewart felt it necessary to make a motion for a mutually agreed upon separation from the County for Mr. Pingree.

Imagine my dismay as the campaign to discredit Mr. Pingree was mounted and executed.  I was, and remain, deeply saddened by the ensuing events. The most recent BOCC meeting (08/16/2010) was so disheartening. I understand the desire to spare Mr. Pingree any further torment. But dadgummit, why should he, or anyone else, "separate" from the county on the basis of innuendo? Especially someone with his reputation for integrity?

My knowledge of Mr. Pingree dates to his service to Leon County. He was a highly valued member of the administrative staff there. When friends there discovered Wakulla County had managed to hire him, I was universally congratulated on our wisdom and good fortune. I couldn't have been more pleased for my home county, because I was aware of Mr. Pingree's reputation for professionalism and integrity.

I am incredulous that anyone believes the County will be able to find a replacement for Mr. Pingree, or demoralized staff members, for any amount of money. After the orchestrated persecution that has been waged for the past year or more, no one is going to chance picking up their families, moving here, and being the butt of all manner of innuendo and vague  allegations.

The Scripture advises that they who are without  sin should cast the first stone. Seems to me, that leaves pretty much everyone standing with empty hands. If someone has actual evidence of wrong-doing, file a grievance. Don't spread empty gossip.

My only regret is holding my tongue for so long, while a good man and an outstanding staff have been maligned . My apologies to each of them for not speaking up publicly before this. May God bless them all, whatever they decide to do.

Respectfully,

Verna L.S. Brock
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