In what other state in this great nation does a vice mayor bundle a toy dynamite into a box, insert a note that says “bum”, and use inter-office mail to send it to his lieutenant as a joke? Former Pinellas County Deputy Mayor James Piper, 59 with 35 in force, did just that, Which led to the evacuation and resignation of the administrative building.
Apparently, not everyone thinks fake bombs are funny.
Blow up your career
Piper, who served as patrol deputy in the sheriff’s office from 1982 to 2015 and was reassigned in July 2017, sent the dismissal “as a joke” to Lieutenant Joseph Gerets, according to him. Press release regarding the accident:
Lieutenant Gerets opened the box on his desk. The box was insulated with plastic packaging and had a red cylindrical body with protruding wires. A handwritten note with the word “Boom” was included inside the package.
Upon opening the box, seeing the handwritten and wireframe note, he immediately left his office and was informed of the potential threat.
Parts of the sheriff administration building were evacuated and a handler with a K-9 bomb detector dog was called to the scene. K-9 did not alert the suspicious package.
The explosives team at the Tampa Police Department confirmed that the device was not a threat, and after Sheriff Bob Gualtieri sent a wide call to the agency about the evictions, Piper apparently called his supervisor, informing him that he had sent the parcel, and he immediately resigned.
Really messed up
We are also sure that the former attorney is well aware that “trick bombs” are illegal under the criminal laws of the state of Florida, and anyone “makes, owns, sells, delivers, sends, displays, uses, threatens to use it, tries to use it, or conspires to use it.” Or whoever makes a deceptive bomb easily accessible to others, “he could be charged with a second degree felony. That’s fifteen years in prison, another fifteen years of probation, and a $ 10,000 fine.
So Piper may have turned the light off with resignation.