Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County/LSHA News

Lake Shore Hosp Auth Chief Busted: Cries to judge, complains of persecution, sees invisible cars?

Mr. Berry sticks his tongue out at the Observer during the grand opening of the LSHA building. See enlarged photo here.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Lake Shore Hospital Authority General Manager Jackson P (Jack) Berry was finally busted in April of last year by the LCPD for illegally parking his gas-guzzling truck the wrong way in the street. For the past two years, he had been doing this with impunity.

Mr. Berry, the past Republican chieftain, is a legend in the good ol' boy world of north-central Florida and is feared by many.

After pleading no contest, which meant Mr. Berry was not admitting he was guilty, he wrote down his side of the case in a letter to Columbia County Third Circuit County Court Judge Tom Coleman.

It appears from Mr. Berry's letter to the Judge that the LCPD officer who wrote Mr. Berry the summons hadn't heard of Mr. Berry or his reputation.

When the officer gave Mr. Berry his license and asked him to sign the summons, Mr. Berry refused to sign it.

Mr. Berry told the judge that he was not blocking the stop sign. Mr. Berry did not get the summons for blocking the stop sign, he received the summons for parking the wrong way on the street.

The enlarged photo clearly shows no other cars are parked in the street. Click here to enlarge photo.

Mr. Berry falsly claimed, "In the block north of where it [his truck] was parked, there were three other vehicles parked in the street and to my knowledge there was no citation given to them."

An examination of the photo taken just before the Lake City police department arrived on the scene shows no other vehicles parked anywhere on the street.

Why is everybody always pickin' on me?

Mr. Berry wrote the Judge:

I believe that this is a profound case of selective enforcement by the LCPD in an attempt to please Ms. Barbara Lemley and Mr. Stewart Lilker, Columbia County Observer.


Before Mr. Berry thanked the judge for his time, he wrote, "I hereby request a hearing if you deem it necessary."

The evidence is clear. The only car(s) parked on the street when Mr. Berry received his summons was his. Based on his signed false characterization of events, Judge Tom Coleman reduced Mr. Berry's fine from $99 to $50.

It is unfortunate that Columbia County's Courts are met by a snicker in many parts of the civilized world.

The reputation of Columbia County is legendary. The court should be beyond reproach.

Columbia County County Court Judge Tom Coleman would have done well to have had the legendary Berry stand in front of the bench and explain where the invisible cars were. 

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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