110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Oct 14, 2013 - 10:13:38am
Some members of the Deltona City Commission were on the receiving end of an email blast that included messages Mayor John Masiarczyk called "horrendously disgusting" and "smut."
"There are some sick people in the world," Masiarczyk said during the City Commission's Oct. 7 meeting.
Because elected officials are prohibited by Florida's government-in-the-sunshine from talking about public business privately, outside of a public meeting, Monday’s meeting was the first chance the mayor had to compare notes with other commissioners about the emails.
"I just wanted it on the record," Masiarczyk said.
Emails sent to elected officials in their official capacity are public records and, by law, must be preserved.
Masiarczyk said he received the emails from an unknown source Oct. 5, and the attachments included "nasty porno-type pictures." He said he reported the emails to Acting City Manager Dave Denny and to Deltona's information-technology department, as well as to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
From what he could learn about the emails, Masiarczyk said, there was no virus that could affect a computer's ability to function.
Commissioner Heidi Herzberg said she, too, had gotten the emails. The first one came Sept. 22, she said, and another arrived in her inbox Oct. 5, as part of the email blast sent to other commissioners.
"I always look at my emails on my Blackberry at work," Herzberg said. "There were pictures. OK, it's not urgent. I thought it was something … for the Boy Scouts."
As she read further and checked the contents of the emails, Herzberg said she found "black and white pictures of old houses, old school pictures, girls on the beach."
"You had to scroll through a lot of images before you got to the nasty ones," she said.
Herzberg said she became concerned about the idea of forwarding the emails, lest anyone get the idea that she approved of the material.
"What if somebody hacks my computer and sends something like that out in my name?" she asked.
Herzberg said she, too, reported the matter to the Sheriff's Office. Asked about the status of any investigation and whether any other local elected officials received the emails, Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught said, "This is the first I've heard of it."
Deltona Commissioner Fred Lowry, a pastor, said he had not received the emails.
"Fortunately, I didn't get any of those dandy little emails. I don't feel left out," Lowry told The Beacon.
The comments posted below are posted by readers, not by The Beacon staff. These comments express the views and opinions of the authors, and not the administrators, moderators or webmaster. The comments forum is governed by these rules. Please use the report abuse link if you find offensive comments.
Did you find this story interesting or informative? Subscribe to The West Volusia Beacon to read more stories by Al Everson, along with others from our award-winning writers. Subscribe now!