Those are the immortal words of philosopher George Santayana written in 1905. Winston Churchill would paraphrase those words in a speech he gave describing post World War II Europe. They are just as true today as they were in the days of Santayana and Churchill.
The same could be said in the context of the Pasco Sheriff’s Department. The present day Sheriff’s Department and its Sheriff are not that different from the past when similar issues plagued the department. Here’s an investigative piece written by Lucy Morgan, formerly of the former St. Pete Times and Jack Reed. Once you read the story from 1983 you’ll see Sheriff Nocco isn’t the first Pasco Sheriff to be intoxicated with power. Here’s an excerpt from a follow-up story that appeared in the Times in December 1983:
“Pasco County Sheriff, John M. Short investigated a number of prominent East Pasco residents as suspected drug smugglers in a secret, privately financed undercover operation in 1961-62. The investigation, which produced no arrests, apparently focused on men who had earned the enmity of Short or John T. Moorman, a wealthy part-time deputy and Short associate who helped finance the operation. . .”
If you aren’t thinking like Yogi Berra “deja vu all over again” you don’t know Pasco County. The corruption and malfeasance is not new which isn’t much of a consolation to the poor people of Pasco who are subjugated to an elected official who would make Lenin and Stalin proud. The quote above is a precursor to what we know today as intelligence led policing.
The fact that these behaviors are still going on in Pasco County should give all of us pause. How does this happen in 2019? How does one man rule an entire county with fear and intimidation without the slightest hint of recrimination or pushback? Well, the calvary is coming, let me tell you.