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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Opinion
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Death Trap: The Whole World Knows and State Attorney Skip Jarvis doesn't - hmm

To those of you who have written regarding Commissioner Jody DuPree's death trap pool, Florida's inaction regarding this and the only real coverage of Columbia County's Good Ol' Boys, thank you. Your interest and support have not gone unnoticed. To those of you who have written that the good ol' boy buck stops with State Attorney Skip Jarvis, I couldn't agree more. There is no chance that State Attorney, Skip Jarvis, doesn't know about Mr. DuPree's pool. The whole world knows.

Did Commissioner DuPree know he was supposed to have a fence surrounding his pool, which for years was an attractive nuisance waiting to swallow up someone's unsuspecting child? You bet he did.

While Commissioner DuPree may have skated since 2004 with the bizarre notion that the rules don't apply to him and the safety of other people's children are of no value, one might have thought that after he was elected to represent the people of Columbia County, he may have changed his mind.

In order for Mr. DuPree to have become Commissioner DuPree, he had to take an Oath of Office, in which he swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Florida.

What laws? Welcome to Columbia County

Even after taking the Oath, Commissioner DuPree still maintained that he was above the law.

On or about February 18, 2011, Commissioner DuPree, when speaking about the lack of a fence around his pool, told two of his neighbors, James Montgomery and Bill McIver, "I know I am supposed to have one, but I prefer not to have one."

Of course, complaints made to a former Republican Chieftain, Bill Lycan's Code Enforcement Department were just ignored.

Good ol' boy newspaper turns the blind eye

Another of Commissioner DuPree's close by neighbors, Genny Hazelip told the Observer, "After reading the article in the Observer, I called the Lake City Reporter. I spoke with C.J. Risak and told him about the issue and to check the article in the Observer. He said he would look into it. I told him I would like to see a story on it."

Ms. Hazelip continued, "When DuPree split with his wife the pool was left unattended for a month or more. I saw a couple of kids going into the backyard and I told them not to go back there."

How and why did the Columbia County Building Department's inspector sign off on the pool and where is the investigation?

That issue involves the inspector's state license, the County Manager, the Building Department Director and others.

Columbia County's State Attorney - not a good track record

History has shown that falsification of government documents, malfeasance, lying, the disappearance of State Attorney records and blatant violations of the public trust mean nothing in Columbia County and less than nothing to District III's State Attorney's Office, whose primary job function since after the Civil War, appears to be to run cover for Columbia County's good ol' boys.

From the Governor's Office on down, Florida's turning a blind eye on this incident tells more about the moral fiber of Florida's leaders than all the pontificating bombast, self congratulation and yick-yak that has gone on in Tallahassee during the past legislative session.

Any corporation, business, family, retiree or anyone who values human life and common decency should stay away from Columbia County until Commissioner Jody DuPree and those in the Columbia County building department, who turned a blind eye on Commissioner DuPree's death trap, are brought to justice.

Business as usual in Columbia County should begin to stop here.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On May 12, 2011 "P" from Lake City, FL wrote:

Well said.  Please keep up the excellent work!  Love the website!

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On May 14, LK from Jacksonville Beach, FL wrote:

I have read with interest your article on Commissioner DuPree's pool.  Having owned a home with an in ground pool far in the country, where no one could just wander in, not only did I have the good conscious to fence my pool, but the curious thing was no insurance company would even agree to write a homeowner's policy unless proof was shown that the pool not only was fenced appropriately, but because the pool was located more than a certain amount of footage from the house, was required to have a locking device on the fence gate.

Legal loopholes, "who you know" mentality, turning a blind eye aside, I wonder how anyone in general, who is supposed to have "the people's" best interest at heart, could blatantly risk lives through negligence and still call themselves a leader.

I'm very curious if Mr. DuPree might have an opinion on this topic.

Thank you, Mr. Lilker,  for your very informative online newspaper.

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On June 2nd, Ohioan by birth wrote:

Jody DuPree is not a representative of the people. In fact, he has shown nothing but a disdain for the very people who elected him to represent them on the County Commission - which seems to be a prerequisite for a BoCC member anywhere in the State of Florida. The issue with the pool is simply one more example showing the corruption is not just one dimensional - the local paper, Building and Zoning, the State Attorney, and yes, even the Governor's Office is complicit in this issue.

I see nobody in the State of Florida fitting the description of 'public servant,' only self serving, pontificating, egotistical politicians...

Ohioan by birth, Floridian by the grace of U-Haul and a bad economy...

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On June 2nd, Judy of Lake City wrote:

I have one question. Is no one at the state level concerned about what goes on with the county commissioners? Why isn't the State Attorney General looking into this?

 

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