TAMPA, Fla. --What do Anthony Weiner, Bret Favre, and now Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner all have in common? Sexting.
"Clearly, I am embarrassed and want to apologize to my family. I've got to deal with those issues," said Turner from his office.
Turner is talking about his relationship, complete with dirty photos and sex texts, with his former HR director, Caroline Filippone. Filippone was fired Monday.
Turner and Filippone dated when she first came to the appraiser's office over a decade ago and Turner admits it wasn't bright to date someone who worked for him. He was single at the time, but that could be the least of his problems. The bigger issue is that he's up for re-election and some conservative members of the Republican Party might frown on the fact he was exchanging dirty photos and texts with his HR director.
It all continued until at least 2008, while he was married to his current wife. "That was exchanged, but it was mutual. It wasn't just me sending to her. She sent as much of that to me and that was, like I say, a personal mistake," said Turner, adding that it had no affect on his office.
Filippone maintained in an EEOC suit she suffered personal harm because Turner mailed pornography, made requests for sexual intercourse, sent pictures of his privates, and made inquires about her breasts. Unfortunately for her, the EEOC did not agree. They said her allegations have no merit.
They went on to say that Filippone could not establish that she was subjected to sex discrimination, and she could not prove she was subjected to retaliation.
Turner maintained that "she had filed false allegations against this office to a federal agency the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, based on that, that's the cause of her termination."
Carolyn Filippone's attorney told us, at this point, he had no comment, but the fact that she has an attorney means a suit is likely on the way.
Turner is a public official and, just like in the Kevin White case, taxpayers are almost certain to be on the hook for what could be thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees.