Judgement day awaits Pat Bean

Tomorrow, the Hillsborough County Commision will act as judge and jury as an evaluation of County Attorney Pat Bean is scheduled on the agenda at 11:30 a.m.

Bean has been under fire for much of 2009, and one Commissioner - Mark Sharpe - has already called  for her ouster.

But he has been the only Board member to go that far to date.  But it could be an unpleasant day for the longtime career official whose biography was chronicled Sunday in the Tampa Tribune.

Other Board members have publicly been critical, but at the same time somewhat supportive of Bean, such as Rose Ferlita.  Ferlita was particularly outspoken when it was revealed that in the midst of punishing budget cuts, Bean had given some of her top staffers raises that ranged between 7% to 17%.

Later it was discovered that Bean had given herself and County Attorney Renee Lee 1% raises.

On Sunday, the Tampa Tribune declared that it was "Time for Bean to resign" in their lead editorial.

As mentioned above, some Commissioners - while not pleased with Bean's performance - have suggested that with all of the issues that crowd the BOCC's plate, dumping her before her contract expires in 2012 would be a waste, since they would owe her the remainder of her $226,000 annual salary.

But the Trib argues that it doesn't matter, and in a bit of a slap at FSU alumni, says she shouldn't embarrass herself a la Bobby Bowden.

But Bean should see there is little to be achieved - for the county or her legacy - by limping through two years with the board's half-hearted support.

There is a time when even the most accomplished leader needs to call it quits. Ask Bobby Bowden. Bean should work with the board on a reasonable severance package.

Recently, CL reported on new allegations that may be discussed at tomorrow's Board meeting regarding a whistleblower who thinks he's been ill treated by the County, with Bean made to look bad in a deposition in that case.

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