I’d like to know exactly what it is that the St Augustine Record and its big sister papers, the Florida Times Union and Jacksonville Journal, think they are going to accomplish with their continuing, impotent attempts to discredit the way St Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar is conducting his three-terms in office?
Do they honestly believe that, because of anything they have instigated, the Governor of Florida is going to order the suicide of Michelle O’Connell to be investigated, one more time? The local print and ink newspaper, which really isn’t “local” at all, continues their witch hunt against our chief law enforcement officer in this county.
Perhaps they think that Sheriff Shoar will resign his elected office, shamed by the scandal that the paper is so desperately trying to manufacture? Certainly, they must think, Barney Fife could beat the sheriff if he is foolish enough to seek a fourth term?
Frankly, I know that none of those misfortunes will befall Sheriff Shoar; and, somewhere deep down inside, I believe that Morris Communications’ minions believe it, too — and it is really pissing them off.
Week after week, with what many say is, or is close to malicious intent; The Record is out stirring the pot. Whether sending its 20-year-old intern reporters to interview “the man on the street” or dragging in a Jacksonville reporter to write a story in tandem, because he is more likely to spell the names and words correctly, what passes for a “newspaper” is out there — passing rumors and brokering innuendo in the hopes that they can keep people focused on a tragic loss of life that happened three years ago.
When Times-Union reporter Matt Soergel interviewed me, he asked, “Have you heard the rumblings that 60 Minutes is also going to do an episode?” No, Matt, I haven’t heard such rumblings because nobody from CBS is interested in coming to St Augustine just to listen to a small handful of residents, friends, and family members who, in their grief, are struggling to find answers to questions for which there are no answers.
State Attorney Brad King of the 5th Judicial Circuit, made it clear at the end of his investigation that unless someone comes forward with some solid evidence that would unanimously convince a jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that not only was a crime committed; but also, a singular assailant, clearly identifiable to the exclusion of all others, had the means, motive and opportunity and did in fact act to commit that crime, there is nothing further that he or the State of Florida has left to do.
Morris Communications has sent in a replacement publisher and a replacement editor for the remains of The Record. I wish them well and Historic City News applauds them for asking tough questions. But, when the questions are answered, even if you don’t like the answers, for whatever reason, you need to move on. You look foolish and maliciously motivated when you continue to drag out this dead horse and beat it some more.