Threats to public servants against the law

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 08:55 AM.

After carefully listening to the county commission meeting proceedings for the Feb. 5 meeting, and hearing District One Commissioner Massey report multiple threats to his person and property over the forthcoming vote for the county attorney position, I was truly saddened and very disappointed that neither the current county attorney, nor the administrator of services, nor the current or past board of commissioners’ chair took this opportunity to remind the public of the penalties and illegality of threatening a public official in the commission of their duties.

What an ideal opportunity for public education – and civility - wasted!

  1. Florida Statutes 838.021 - Corruption by threat against public servant
  2. “Florida Statutes > Title XLVI > Chapter 838 > § 838.021 - Corruption by threat against public servant current as of: 2011
  3. It is unlawful to harm or threaten to harm any public servant, his or her immediate family, or any other person with whose welfare the public servant is interested with the intent to:
    1. Influence the performance of any act or omission that the person believes to be, or that the public servant represents as being, within the official discretion of the public servant, in violation of a public duty, or in performance of a public duty.”


When this issue to choose a county attorney is again presented for a vote at the next meeting, I sincerely hope that such an important and cautionary statutory reminder will be made to the public at that time by one of the lead county officials.

It will at least be better late than never! 


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