Commissioner kicked off Affirmative Action Committee | News
St. Petersburg, Florida -- Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche was kicked off the county's Affirmative Action Committee Friday. The move follows Roche's admission that he's been posting disparaging remarks on the St. Petersburg Times' website under the username "Reality."
"This is certainly not the conduct one would expect from a county commissioner," fellow Commissioner Ken Welch said of Roche's actions. Welch went on to call his colleague's posts troubling.
"Especially comments that tend to blanket an entire community in terms of 'thugs' or 'prostitutes' or some other inflammatory rhetoric that was used," Welch added.
Roche declined to talk on camera about the story Friday, telling 10 News over the phone that "it serves absolutely no public good to continue discourse on it. We have far bigger issues going on."
However, Commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala decided Roche's online comments, which go back more than a year, were so inappropriate that he needed to be removed from the county's AAC.
Times reporter David DeCamp also defended the newspaper's work uncovering Roche's actions, saying; "I cover politics and when an elected public official is trying to influence public opinion -- particularly secretly -- I'm going to write about it."