News & Features » News

County taunts the ACLU

comment

To the ACLU, Orange County Commissioner Clarence Hoenstine's use of the county insignia on letters soliciting funds for his church was a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state. But the District 4 commissioner, who faces three challengers to his re-election, has nonetheless decided to disregard the ACLU's letter threatening a lawsuit if he ever tried it again.

"If they had something illegal, they would have sued me," Hoenstine said. "It's nothing but a scare tactic. Would I do it again? Yes, it's legal."

It's possible to understand Hoenstine's brazen response. After all, Orange County taxpayers would be on the hook for any legal fees. Harder to understand is the response of County Attorney Tom Wilkes, who likewise dismissed the constitutional argument. With a laugh, Wilkes concluded, "You're straining for an inference. I don't think anyone else would draw it."


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.