Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
An administrative law judge recommended Wednesday that a Miami-Dade school bus driver be reinstated and get back pay after his unpaid suspension for restraining “a violent student.”
Judge Robert L. Kilbride ruled that driver Livingston Wint, a 15-year employee with no prior disciplinary record, “had to reasonably control and restrain a very unruly and disruptive (middle school) student.”
That student had caused “an emergency situation (by) triggering the exit window alarm” while the bus was moving. The incident happened in October 2017.
As captured on cellphone video taken by other students, Wint went back to close the window when “the male student (first) rose up slightly … and punched Wint in the stomach several times.”
In laying hands on the student to defend himself, the school board had argued Wint violated school board policies and standards of ethical conduct.
But Kilbride said Wint didn’t break any state laws. And where the school board’s rules may contradict the law, “they are invalid and not controlling.”
The “physical action (Wint) took to protect himself and the other students from a violent and unruly student was not only authorized but required by the statutes under the circumstances,” Kilbride wrote.
In fact, “had (Wint) done nothing and allowed the situation to escalate, he would have been accused of ignoring his obligations under” law, the judge said.
“There is not just cause to terminate (his) employment. To do so would be contrary to the law.”
“The shadow rulers of the VA” via Isaac Arnsdorf of ProPublica
“Bill Nelson: The Russians have penetrated some Florida voter election systems” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times
“Nelson, Rick Scott spar over Ann Scott’s loan to blind trust accountant” via Mat Dixon of POLITICO Florida
“Scott staffer takes impromptu meeting with Andrew Gillum, clergymen on ‘Stand Your Ground’” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics
“Ron DeSantis poll shows him leading Adam Putnam by 20” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times
“Jeff Greene pumps another $4.5 million into gubernatorial campaign” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics
“Gwen Graham sees film biz woes as symptoms of ideology malaise” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Denise Grimsley details policy proposals in new e-book” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
“Ted Deutch slams Marco Rubio for endorsing candidate he says ‘cruelly attacked’ grieving Parkland dad” via Anthony Man of the Sun-Sentinel
“Internal poll shows Jason Pizzo up on Daphne Campbell” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald
“Florida locals taxing themselves to cover shortfalls from state cuts in education and transpiration funding” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix
Quote of the Day
“The lobbyists and politicians who oppose Amendment 3 have fought us at every turn, because they don’t want voters to have a voice.” — Voters in Charge chair John Sowinski, on the proposed constitutional amendment requiring “voter control” of future gambling expansions. He’s planning a $30 million media buy to promote its passage.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission will continue a two-day meeting. That’s at 8:30 a.m., BB&T Center, Chairman’s Club, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.
The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss “fiscally constrained” counties at 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.
The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will meet after holding committee meetings. Committees start at 8:30 a.m., with full board at 11 a.m., FAMU College of Law, 201 Beggs Ave., Orlando.
The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet at 9 a.m., district headquarters, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach.
The Revenue Estimating Conference will consider what are known as “outlooks” for certain trust funds. That’s at 9:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
The Republican Party of Palm Beach County will hold its annual “Lobster Fest,” with speakers expected to include Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s at 6:30 p.m., The Polo Club of Boca Raton, 5400 Champions Blvd., Boca Raton.
The five Democrats running for Florida Governor are expected to take part in a town-hall forum in Jacksonville. That’s at 8 p.m., Jacksonville University, Terry Concert Hall, 2800 University Blvd. North, Jacksonville.