Letter to the Editor: Time and place

I was disappointed, but not surprised, that City Council candidate Larry Sacher filed an ethics complaint against Council Chairman Larry Magel. On the other hand, I was shocked when Mr. Sacher used the last City Council meeting as a political forum to trumpet his complaint. That was neither the time nor the place for a political attack. Mr. Sacher is wrong as a matter of law and as a matter of personal conduct, in my opinion.

The nature of the complaint itself is a matter even beyond the way this attack is being conducted. As a lawyer I carefully analyzed the Florida Constitution, particularly sections 112.313 (6) relating to standards of conduct for public officials and 104.31 (c) (4) relating to interfering with or coercing the political process and use of official authority or position. Neither of these sections would support an ethics violation by Mr. Magel in my judgment. To view it otherwise would distort the meaning of free speech.

The facts are not disputed: Mr. Magel wrote a letter to condominium owners expressing his views on campaign issues, and stating which candidates supported the positions he had taken on those issues. At no time did Mr. Magel use city property; city supplies or the work of city employees to produced or transmit his letter. He made his views known as a private citizen, and there is nothing wrong about a reference to his elected position.

Politics is a messy business. It simply should not result in unjustified attacks and accusations predicated on personal prejudice. Most important, let us be civil enough to follow the principles of the United States Constitution on our fundamental right of free speech. Whether or not you agree with Mr. Magel, it is not right to impinge on his right of free expression.

Monte Lazarus

Marco Island

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Comments » 8

jwputnam writes:

You know Monte.....YOU are the problem, along with John Arceri and the entire Knights Of Columbus. What is with you people and power? What do you really want? I do truly appreciate the fact that you all believe in hell however.

blogsmog writes:

Cudos to John Putnam for telling it like it is, Lazarus and his gang of cronies think that Marco is their little playground and they make all the rules. Vote for Petriccia, Hoenecker and Sarcher and tell Lazurus and the Marco mafia to go away!

JohninMarco writes:

Come on Monte. You live in a condo, get lower water, sewage rates, and re-cycled water for irrigation. You have been put on numerous boards by the current council to make sure that the Marriott convensation center goes through. You vote for the strp so we can now have a new hotel come in. While all the time your wife was on the chamber of commerce. Finally because two friends have problem with sea wall construction you cracked down on them. But people who live on Landmark Rd. will see more construction from the new Marriott parking garage than they will ever imagine.

ed34145 writes:

I love all you ultra conservatives....You believe in free speech except when you don't like what's being said. Unless, of course, it is your candidate who twists the truth to make it whatever he wants it to be.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Honestly Monte, your opinion?

2themoon writes:

Funniest blog ive ever read on this site happened years ago during the STRP debaucle.
A blogger stated: isnt it ironic the fact that Monte Lazarus who's a spitting image of Fred Flinstone has labeled those who oppose his view on the strp "cavedwellers"

ajm3s writes:

In Mr. Lazarus's own words:

"....shocked when Mr. Sacher used the last City Council meeting as a political forum to trumpet his complaint. That was neither the time nor the place for a political attack. Mr. Sacher is wrong as a matter of law and as a matter of personal conduct, in my opinion."

In Mr. Lazarus's world of legalese, free speech is trampled on under the heading of "personal conduct". Interesting to say the least, and it is wrong? Really.

Why is the bar so low for members of the Bar Association? And speaking of members of the Bar Association, why did Mr. Recker undertake the blatant use of a city website to issue an Op/Ed that well, for someone like myself not being a member of the Bar Association, unless you include mixologists, is unlawful. Or is it just bad "personal conduct"

Confused again.


MrBreeze writes:

I am still a "cavedweller". Card carrying and proud of it.

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