The Corner

‘Most Corrupt Town in America’ May Lose Its Charter

CNN has labeled Hampton, Fla., possibly “the most corrupt town in America.” Now, if it doesn’t clean up its act, Governor Rick Scott is threatening to revoke its city charter.

The city’s problems were revealed in a recent state audit, which found 31 violations of the city charter, state law, and federal tax regulations:

‐ Hampton’s city charter says the city government exists to provide water and police protection to its citizens, who number less than 500. But Hampton’s water system leaks 46 percent of its water, and the city’s police officers are largely concerned with enforcing a highly lucrative speed trap. The town is known for the trap, on US 301, where officers aim their radar guns as they sit in lawn chairs or hide behind recycling bins along the 1,260 feet of highway the municipality controls. The police force produced $617,000 in ticket money between 2010 and 2012. The police chief and water-utility operator have resigned.

Gordon Smith, the sheriff of the county containing Hampton, summarized the city’s work thus: “It became ’serve and collect’ instead of ’serve and protect.’ Cash-register justice.”

The state audit is available to read online. On inspection of the evidence, the city’s prospects “don’t look good,” watchdog organization Integrity Florida said.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More

A Brief History of Election Meddling

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the second in a series of excerpts. ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Thus spoke President Barack Obama just a couple of weeks before ... Read More

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More

Max Boot’s Dishonesty

Before yesterday, my primary criticism of the Washington Post’s Max Boot was political in nature. As I wrote in a recent book review, I found it regrettable that Boot’s opposition to the president had not prevented him from “succumbing reactively to Trump’s cult of personality, or from making Trump the ... Read More