Welcome to

Capitol News Service

Florida's Best Political Television Coverage




Latest Video from Capitol News Service

Testing Troubles Continue

Concealed Carry in Evacuation

State of the State 2015

Testing Problems Day 2

Testing trouble

Recent Posts

RSS Quote of the Day

  • Robert Frost
    "A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body - the wishbone."
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
    "Everything has been figured out, except how to live."
  • George Santayana
    "The Soul is the voice of the body's interests."
  • Calvin Coolidge
    "It takes a great man to be a good listener."

RSS Capitol News LIVE

  • Testing Problems Continue into Day 4 1, March5, 2015
    Problems continued for some school districts today as students tried to sign on to take a mandated writing test. Democrats say test security has been compromised and the test is no longer a valid assessment tool. As Education Commissioner Pam Stewart was telling the House Education Committee that test contractor AIR is successfully solving problems. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Father Seeks CPR Training for All After Losing 14 Yr. Old Son 1, March5, 2015
    Florida is one of thirty states that does not require high school students to take a one hour class on CPR, but a Louisiana father who lost his 14 year old son is on a campaign to change that. Jim Cobb lost his 14 year old son to an undiagnosed heart problem but says he […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Speed Traps and Ticket Quotas 1, March5, 2015
    It’s already against the law for state police to have ticket quotas. Now lawmakers want to prohibit local police and sheriffs from requiring a set number of arrests. State Senator Rob Bradley filed the legislation after two infamous towns in north Florida abolished their police departments when officers came forward and told of being required […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fight Looms over Transgender Bathroom Bill 1, March5, 2015
    Legislation prohibiting transgender people from using a bathroom of a gender other than what’s on their drivers license was approved by a House Committee yesterday, but it may be dead on arrival in the state senate. Senator Daren Soto says Democrats there don’t have the votes to pass legislation, but they can win by using […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Drug Testing Suit Over 1, March5, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott failed to meet a deadline to file an appeal in a case challenging his plan to test welfare applicants. Two federal courts have already ruled against the Governor. The Supreme Court as his last option, and now the case is over. Democrat Arthenia Joyner claimed victory. “So it’s been a waste, and […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Ban on Pregnant Discrimination Sought 1, March5, 2015
    Pregnant women are not currently protected under the states civil rights laws, but State Senator Geraldine Thompson wants that to change. “We have women who, for example, work for parcel companies where they are required to life 50 pounds, which they can do. And even though they were able to lift 50 pounds, they were […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Concealed Carry Approved When Fleeing Storms, Slung Shots too 1, March4, 2015
    If you are unlucky enough to be ordered to evacuate in an emergency, you may soon be able to carry a concealed weapon while you are leaving under legislation approved by a House Committee at the State Capitol today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it was one of two self protection measures to pass. Floridians […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Civil Citation Bill Squeaks Through Committee 1, March4, 2015
    Legislation requiring every county to issue civil citations to juveniles first arrest for a non violent misdemeanor squeaked through a House committee today over the opposition of law enforcement. First approved in 2010, the citations are optional for police, but seven counties have issued none. The Reverend Bernice Powell Jackson told lawmakers the current […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Protecting A Woman’s Right 1, March4, 2015
    Several dozen Planned Parenthood volunteers were in the Capitol today protesting legislation that would restrict abortions. One bill would outlaw them altogether, while another requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Elizabeth Lee came to object to legislation requiring a 24 hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Cabinet Aides Get Testy over Firing Lawsuit 1, March4, 2015
      9 aides to the Governor and Cabinet met today but refused to discuss an upcoming vote changing how agency heads are reviewed or hired and fired. Citing a law suit over the firing of FDLE commissioner Gerald Bailey in December, the aides are party to a law suit alleging they violated the Open meetings […]
    Mike Vasilinda

Categories

Archives

Whistleblower says he Poisoned Trees

September 8th, 2011 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

He worked for Floridas largest billboard company. His job, he says, poisoning trees that block signs. Robert Barnhart was let go last month. Yesterday he filed a whistleblower lawsuit in Federal Court. Whitney Ray brings us an exclusive interview with the former Lamar employee from our Tallahassee bureau.

This tree on Capital Circle near Tom Brown Park in Tallahassee is dying because Robert Barnhart poisoned it. According to a complaint he filed in federal court a supervisor at his job with Lamar Advertising, told him to poison trees blocking billboards.

Right above that branch is where we drilled the hole, said Barnhart.

Barnhart says he climbed the tree, drilled a hole above this branch and poured in poison.

Its definitely dying. Its a result of the chemical. And the reason why it was poisoned is because its in the way of the billboard, said Barnhart.

This elm should look the tree right next to it, green and full of life, but all of the leaves have fallen off and pieces of bark are all along the ground and pretty soon the city will come chop it down.

Barnhart filed a lawsuit against Lamar in Federal Court Wednesday. The suit claims, Barnhart was given a machete, told to hack at the root system, then pour poison on the cut.

I was drove around the day before and showed the locations to poison and told, come in an unmarked truck, dont wear a Lamar logo, wear dust mask and kitchen gloves and poison the trees, said Barnhart.

Killing large trees without a permit is a felony. In this written complain Barnhart told the company he want nothing to do with killing trees. The lawsuit claims he was let go after filing the complaint. His Attorney Steve Andrews says Lamar was trying to quiet Barnhart.

No one wants a whistleblower working for them in a big corporation, said Andrews.

Barnhart was given immunity by the state attorney. Hes suing Lamar for his old job back plus damages. Lamar says the claims are false and calls Barnhart a disgruntled worker.

Lamar Advertising didnt have anyone in Tallahassee today to speak oncamera about the lawsuit, but we were able to reach Barnharts former boss Danny Funderburgh on the phone. Funderburgh says he never received a complaint from Barnhart and hes still actually on the payroll. As for their policy regarding trees that block signs, Funderburgh said we do not have a policy to kill trees or remove any trees. Lamar Advertising follows city and state regulations.

Posted in State News | 9 Comments »

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

copyright © 2013 by Capitol News Service | Powered by Wordpress | Hosted by LyonsHost.com