Since The Record continues to get the facts wrong about the Monday night Town Hall meeting that concluded with Ken Bryan assaulting a local woman, I am sending the comments below.
Peter Guinta in his articles simply relies on the Sheriff’s report and the Commissioner’s spin. Even though he attended the Tuesday, June 28th Tea Party meeting the next day, Peter Guinta did not interview the primary victim of Commissioner Bryan’s violent outburst; that is, Cindy Falco.
Also, Guinta did not interview Lance Thate, who was holding a Gadsden Flag (not a flintlock rifle as Guinta stated in his article). Nor did he interview Doug Russo. Both were eye witnesses to Bryan’s loud angry rant towards Cindy Falco and the fact that Bryan struck Eric West.
To add insult to injury, The Record’s editorial of July 3rd has 6 factual errors:
1. The Tea Party, nationwide, is against increasing taxes, period! Our theme is “Taxed Enough Already”. We were not “gunning” for Commissioner Bryan, but simply oppose the unnecessary .75 millage tax increase. All of us would like to see all 4 of the Commissioners who are pushing a tax increase voted out.
2. The Editorial says that, “Bryan gave it back to the person…” The “it” was the United States Constitution. Bryan did not give it back but angrily swept it onto the floor with his hand while barking “I don’t believe in the Constitution”. Not a nice way to treat a lady or the Constitution.
3. After a week, you’d think the Record could get the facts straight. There were four “persons” ejected from the auditorium. Cindy Falco, Eric West and two others. If you did some investigative reporting, instead of getting the information from the “establishment”, you would know the names of the other two who were ejected without cause.
4. Your Editorial states “The viewpoint of many is that the Tea Party had two agendas Monday; to speak out and provoke Bryan”. This conclusion is pure fantasy. The Tea Partiers dressed in 1776 costumes, holding Gadsden Flags, and were told by security that they could stand in the back of the auditorium. They had no idea that Ken Bryan, Ron Sanchez and Mark Miner were all seated on the last row; also, in the back of the auditorium. There was no plan other than to speak against the millage increase.
5. The Tea Party member with the cell phone camera was videoing the speakers. When he heard the loud rants of Ken Bryan screaming at Cindy and West, he turned the recording phone around to the commotion. Without him and the photos of Ken Bryan being restrained by his wife, yelling at Eric West, and advertising his tonsils; without this proof, the twenty thousand readers of the Record might believe the misinformation of the Record: Cindy Falco did not accost Bryan’s wife. If The Record read the statement that Cindy Falco gave to the Sheriff’s deputy on the night of the incident, we could have at least had a “he said, she said”. But, thank God, a Tea Party member has a video that give credence that Commissioner Bryan could not control his anger and rage. Ninety five percent of the speakers were against the tax increase.
6. The county commission adopted a civility rule that says that public officials will be civil to the public and that they will not tolerate uncivil behavior from the public in public meetings.
Take a good look at the pictures of Bryan. Does this look like a civilized, nonthreatening public servant?
Now you tell me, WHY was Bryan’s uncivil, downright violent behavior tolerated? Bryan was the only person being loud, verbally abusive, yelling, and waving his arms, being restrained by his wife and hitting and pushing around the public.
He got away with it because he is a county commissioner and the rest of us are peons with no right to be protected from our violent public servants. We do not pay them to push us around.
That’s “the rest of the story.”
PS: The only good still pictures of Bryan’s outburst were published in Historic City News.
St. Augustine, Florida