Citizen Continues Campaign Urging Schubert Be Cleared
By Leo Coughlin
LARGO - Just like the case of Largo's "funny numbers" seems as though it won't go away, neither will the flap over the suggested nepotism in the case of the city's highest compensated official.
It was revealed several weeks ago that Henry Schubert, an assistant city manager, with pay and benefits over $171,000 a year and his wife, Dorothy, also highly paid, are on the city's payroll.
Because of his position Schubert could possibly rule on promotions and pay raises for his wife, who works in the Information Technology department, and the suggestion of nepotism came up.
One Largo citizen, who himself says feels that there is no nepotism, has insisted that an Attorney General Opinion on the matter be sought.
No one in the city seems to want to totally clear Schubert of any tinge whatsoever, but that citizen, Bill Monroe, who has sent numerous emails to Largo officials, insists on it.
Alan Zimmet, the city's legal officer, brought the subject up at last Tuesday's City Commission meeting and asserted that there was no nepotism. Of course, Zimmet is not qualified nor has the authority to rule on the question.
Monroe pointed out what he said were discrepancies in what Zimmet said at the meeting September 7.
"At Tuesday's City Commission meeting, Mr. Zimmet laid out what he purported to be the procedure if an Attorney General Opinion on the issue were to be sought. Once again, Mr. Zimmet seems to be unfamiliar with the law on this matter as he was when I raised the subject before and he claimed that the Florida statute on nepotism (which he mis-numbered) did not pertain to municipalities."
Monroe said he checked on the procedure and learned that a request for an Attorney General Opinion need not come for a governmental body, as Zimmet indicated, and that it does not require preparation by a lawyer, as Zimmet again indicated.
Monroe emphasized the fairness aspect over Schubert's status. "In all fairness to Mr. Schubert, who from my observation over the years is a competent and dedicated public servant, his situation should be resolved by the highest authority possible. Obviously, Mr. Zimmet, despite his attempts, cannot make this judgment. I do think it is important despite Mr. Craig's saying that this is a 'waste of his time.'"
The facts leading to the discovery that Henry and Dorothy Schubert were both on the Largo payroll came about through the publication by a news gathering agency in Tampa that listed the compensation paid to various public officials in the area.
It was discovered in that information that Schubert's compensation is more than that paid to his boss, City Manager Norton Craig.
Also unearthed was the information on Dorothy Schubert. But a search of a list of Largo employees on the city's web site failed to list Dorothy Schubert. City officials confirmed that she was an employee but never were able to explain why her name was missing from the employees list.
Monroe urged that something be "written in your excellent paper so that Mr. Schubert can have this terrible cloud removed."
His email closed with what he repeated in several emails - "I am still somewhat irked at Mr. Craig calling my interest in this as a citizen a 'waste of his time.'"
Return to Current Edition