Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs concluded public comments from her critics with a commanding and at times emotional response slamming the Orlando Sentinel for an article this past weekend that was “totally false.” The article focused on text messages of the Mayor and County Commission in the aftermath of the paid sick time measure and follow-up to the vote to delay putting the measure on the ballot.
In a scathing statement, Jacobs ripped apart the sloppy work of the Sentinel in wrongfully attributing quotes, taking liberty with actual text messages as quotes in print, and making improper allegations piece by piece. She also mentioned that she will make a formal request for not only a correction, but a total rewrite of the published article. On Saturday, the Orlando Sentinel ran an article which included text messages from Mayor Jacobs’ phone and the Sentinel was the only news organization not to return and delete personal messages mistakenly included.
Jacobs’ eyes became teary as she explained the personal violations of her privacy and the privacy of her children, parents and friends.
“I’m willing to take a lot,” said Mayor Jacobs. But this has crossed a line.
The mayor also cited responses left out by the Sentinel article which provide more context to the situation. These responses showed Mayor Jacobs has been consistent in her personal position on the sick time issue and how she voted. She noted she did not vote to delay the measure from moving forward, other members on the Board did.
Mayor Jacobs ended that she has never “flip-flopped” on her positions regarding sick time or open government.
The commanding statement shows Mayor Jacobs is stronger than she’s ever been. The emotional and firm response also shows why Mayor Jacobs is the most powerful elected official in Orange County.
Update: cross-published at West Orlando News Online