Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hosp Auth News

Lake Shore Hosp Auth Manager Jackson P "Jack" Berry, "Uninsurable": Threatens to sue 

Hosp Auth Manager Berry at last night's meeting.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Lake Shore Hospital Authority General Council, Marlin Feagle, announced at last night's monthly Authority meeting that Jack (Jackson P.) Berry was dropped from the Authority's D&O (Directors and Officers) insurance policy. Mr. Feagle told the Board that he was having trouble finding anyone to insure Mr. Berry. "We can continue to try to find a company that will cover Mr. Berry... If one company declines coverage... then that's not uncommon to get feedback from additional companies... I assume you would want us to continue to try to find coverage, but frankly it doesn't look like it is going to be available for Mr. Berry..." Mr. Berry, a quintessential public figure in Columbia County since the 70s, blamed the internet. "Google my name and you'll see what's there." The Observer did.

The first item that one finds when searching Mr. Berry on the Internet is the following: Jackson P. Berry, Plaintiff-appellant, v. J. Glenn Bailey, Individually and As Sheriff of Columbia county, Florida, Defendant-appellee.

1984 Federal Court, Berry's Case Dismissed

Mr. Berry sued the then Columbia County Sheriff, Glenn Bailey for violating his civil rights. Mr. Berry was a Deputy Sheriff and was fired by Sheriff Bailey. Mr. Berry claimed that he was terminated because he exercised his "first amendment right to free speech." When the jury found for Mr. Berry, the presiding judge set aside the jury's verdict, concluding that the evidence was insufficient to support it, and entered a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (n.o.v.).  The Unites States District Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Mr. Berry's claims.

Twenty years later Mr. Berry sued two county commissioners for ruining his reputation: Case dismissed

Twenty years later in 2004, Mr. Berry sued two Columbia County commissioners for suffering humiliation, mental anguish, loss of sleep and being placed in contempt and derision among his friends and acquaintances and for having his reputation for honesty and being law-abiding [ruined] by the actions of these two commissioners.

Three years later in 2007, after causing the defendants to expend thousands of dollars, a judge brought in from Gainesville dismissed Mr. Berry's law suit.

Any insurance company could have easily found those records in the Columbia County Court.

2008, the Observer begins reporting on the LSHA: The "free, white and over 21 remark."

If Zurich insurance or anybody would have drilled through the Observer articles regarding the LSHA, they would have found Mr. Berry's infamous "Free white and over 21 remark."

Mr. Berry never denied making this remark.

Lake Shore Hosp Auth minutes are available on the net

Anyone, including an insurance company could have perused the Authority minutes on the Internet.

On January 11, 2010, the Authority minutes clearly indicated that two board members, Dorothy Pattison and Audré Washington voted against advertising for a new position called hospital authority manager, a job Mr. Berry was soon to get.

In the minutes of January 10, 2011, "Board Member Audré Washington questioned where the previous completed evaluation forms were for Mr. Berry and did all Board Members do an evaluation. She also questioned the meeting of the Review Committee for the Authority Manager recommendation and how it was handled."  

On March 14, 2011, one would have found the following: "Mrs. Audré Washington expressed her concerns with Mr. Berry’s lack of documentation of his time and his unprofessionalism."

It is not clear if Mr. Berry has decided to sue Ms. Washington or if the insurance company read Ms. Washington's evaluations in the Authority minutes on the internet. Ms. Washington is a respected community member and is employed by the Lake City Police Department.

Foreclosures on the Clerk of the Court's web site

Had Zurich or any other insurance company examined the Clerk's web site they would have found recent foreclosures totaling over $800,000 for Mr. Berry to TD Bank.


Last night, Lake Shore Hosp Auth Manager, Jack Berry, complained that the Observer is giving him a raw deal and is the cause of his insurance woes.

Whether it is the Hospital Authority's Jack Berry sticking out his tongue; parking the wrong way in the street; or being called a good ole boy by the Columbia County Observer, all things that are true, it is difficult to believe that an insurance company would refuse to insure Mr. Berry for sticking out his tongue.

Last night Mr. Berry told the Board:

All of this is beyond my control. I have no control over what people put on the Internet. Ya know, I think it's time, that maybe the courts need to decide if they're going to let people tell lies about other people and put it on the Internet. I didn't say anything wrong. (Emphasis added)
Let me tell the Board this. I have consulted with an attorney and the only way that we are going to resolve this problem is to file a lawsuit, which I am in the process of doing to the people that put the stuff on the Internet.

What Mr. Berry didn't tell the Board was that he had complained about the Observer telling lies on different occasions and every time he did, the Observer always asked him to point them out and they would be gladly corrected.

Not once did Mr. Berry, a past Republican chieftain and quintessential Columbia County public figure ever point out what he considered a single lie.

That offer has never been withdrawn. 

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On June 15, 2012, RH of Lake City wrote:

Mr. Lilker has been in this community long enough to get his facts straight prior to asking questions or making statements in the Observer.  This applies to the County Commissioner meetings and the LHSA.  Despite attempts to rid this area of the likes of Mr. Lilker, he's still fighting for THE PEOPLE  of this county to have an honest functioning county government (including other taxing agencies) that realize they are accountable to the tax payers of Columbia County.

Hang in there Mr. Lilker - little by little and one by one - THEY are being watched!


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