Sounds Straight Out of a Carl Hiaasen Novel

Wheeler-dealer political consultant Doug Guetzloe, who has been among the players under investigation in questionable deals of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (among other cases), is clearly a man who knows, as they say, where the bodies are buried. And now one of central Florida's great newshounds, intrepid Tony Pipitone of WKMG-TV, owns 80 cartons of Guetzloe's personal and professional papers! Guetzloe, y'see, failed to make a timely rental payment on his storage locker, and somebody not only bought the contents at auction for $10 but then gave them away to Pipitone provided he cart them away pronto, which Pipitone was deliriously happy to do. Guetzloe calls it all a setup, or out-and-out theft. [Orlando Sentinel] [WKMG-TV (Orlando)]

F State Prosecutors Need to Watch More "Law and Order"
Citrus County prosecutors botched the child-murder confessions of John Evander Couey by appearing deaf to his demands for a lawyer (and Orlando detectives questioned him about yet another case after fully understanding that he had, by that time, gotten a lawyer), and yet more incriminating statements may be thrown out in the case of David Onstott after he allegedly told Hillsborough prosecutors that he wanted a lawyer while being questioned about the disappearance of a 13-yr-old girl in 2005. Couey's prosecutors believe they have enough to go on without the confessions, but Onstott's prosecutors, not so much. And according to Onstott's lawyers, there is even a transcribed exchange among detectives demonstrating that they don't much care about his demand for a lawyer. [St. Petersburg Times]

The Florida High School Athletic Ass'n has cleared Lakeland High School (er, state 5A champion Lakeland High School!) football star Chris Rainey [The F State, 12-8-2007] of accepting gifts, despite his gratuitous boasting for a December Miami Herald story that fans lavish money and jewelry on him all the time. ("When I walk around, people are buying me food, giving me money.") Rainey "recanted" all the statements, said FHSAA, and thus its hands are tied. So, let's translate. Rainey is a large-scale, insecure, boastful liar, not that there's anything wrong with that, under FHSAA regs. [Tampa Tribune]

More Things To Worry About Today
One of the several retired pro wrestlers in the Tampa Bay area, Dirty Dick Slater, was arrested again, for allegedly violating a domestic-assault stayaway order [St. Petersburg Times] . . . . . In a Miami-Dade school board fight between the black superintendent and several anti-Castro activists who want no favorable mention of Fidel in the schools, all sides were accused of being racists [WFOR-TV (Miami)] . . . . . James Lyons's good-sized home casino (e.g., $8k a table for poker) was busted in Jacksonville when he got mad about a home invasion and called the cops to come protect him and his customers [] . . . . . That service weapon the Hollywood police issued to Officer Michael McCarty apparently sure did come in handy when he got mad about a driver cutting him off in traffic [Miami Herald] . . . . . One of the state's worst mothers, Paula Tuck of Lakeland, who has already had 3 kids removed from her home for adoption, was sentenced to 15 months' probation for letting her 10-month-old drown in a bathtub while she, er, prepared a formula . . yeah, that's the ticket, prepared a formula [The Ledger (Lakeland)] . . . . . Broward sheriff's deputies and insurance investigators found 31 cars at the bottom of a canal along Griffin Road in Weston [Miami Herald] . . . . . Orlando cops like addict Robert Powell, 22, for a murder, basically because he posted on his page his condolences on the victim's passing, four hours before he turned up dead
[WESH-TV (Orlando)].

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