+ Art committee rejects statue
Saying that the “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture on the bayfront does not meet the standards of public art, on Aug. 12 the Public Art Committee rejected a request from an anonymous donor to purchase the $500,000 piece and donate it to the city.
The 88-year-old World War II veteran wanted to buy “Unconditional Surrender” on the condition that it stay on the bayfront. He originally wanted it to stay there permanently, but his representatives told the Art Committee that he only requires it to remain there for 10 years. After that, ownership would transfer to the city, and it could then do whatever it wanted with the sculpture.
The donor is a widower and has no family. He had been searching for a way to leave a legacy. With the Art Committee’s rejection, that legacy now rests in the hands of the City Commission, which has the final say on whether to accept the donation.
+ Buchanan will speak at Village Walk
U.S. District 13 Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, is scheduled to speak at the Palmer Ranch Communities Coalition meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Village Walk community center.
All Palmer Ranch residents are invited to attend and will be allowed to ask Buchanan questions.
+ ACLU requests 2,600 e-mails
The American Civil Liberties Union is requesting the city hand over about 2,600 e-mails concerning a Sarasota police officer’s beating of a handcuffed suspect.
Specifically, the ACLU is looking for communications from suspended Police Chief Peter Abbott; Sgt. Ken Castro; City Manager Bob Bartolotta; and Larry Hobbs, a city risk-management employee.
Perez was arrested June 26 for disorderly intoxication and obstruction. Surveillance video at the booking facility shows Perez climbing out of a police-car window and falling to the ground. When Perez tried to get up, Officer Christopher Childers kicked Perez back to the ground and held his foot on Perez’s chest to keep him from getting up again.
Castro was assigned to investigate the case. Abbott also instructed Castro to get a check from Hobbs to offer to Perez in exchange for an agreement not to sue the city. Castro personally delivered the $400 check.
Bartolotta said he was not informed of the videotaped incident or the payoff and subsequently suspended Abbott while an independent investigation was conducted.
Childers was also suspended. Hobbs was reprimanded.