Small Town Values


Here's hoping the Jankes sue Fort Myers Beach.

I'm not aware of any laws barring discrimination against sex workers or those who are married to sex workers.
I bet a lot is going to depend on the clause mentioned in the story. Did the city council have the right to fire him without cause by a simple majority vote? I hope he got a sweet severance.
"It's a matter of how effective he becomes after this situation. How much disruption there is."

So they're saying his wife will be fucking out his brains so hard that he won't be mentally able to perform his civil duties?

@1: I've known of laws that cover benefits discrimination against an employee because of their marital status (presumably, one may not hire single employees over married ones just because they'd be cheaper). Could there be a case vaguely argued on that kind of basis? (Do we *need* sex-worker-specific discrimination law?)
I also wonder about them having "just found out" about her career. Makes me think maybe she's recently turned to porn performance or web caming or some such on the side, especially if this is a tiny town. And how, may I ask, would they have found out about such a thing, hmmm?
Tom Babcock is also unfortunately named.
god, Fort Myers beach is a ingrown hair nestled on the taint of America.
I'm certainly no lawyer, and not having a copy of the actual contract in front of me does complicate things, but I find it hard to believe any legal employment contract could hold up under these circumstances. Mr. Janke isn't being fired "for cause" obviously, but how in the world could his marital status be in any way, shape or form relevant to his work performance anyway?

And how can a "no-cause" clause even be enforceable? It seems like that would be in direct conflict with federal labor law, not to mention (as noted in the article) a gross violation of Mr. Janke's free speech and free association rights under the U.S. Constitution.

If the issue is whether or not he can still be "effective in his position" and "how much disruption" this "discovery" of his wife's activities could cause - um, so far, at least based on the article, the only disruption that's been created has been as a direct result of the Town Council's action, rather than anything relating to Mr. Janke's performance in his position as Manager.

Backfire, indeed.
it's all about the clause. i bet they don't need a reason.

bigger issue: what's her stage name?

Do we *need* sex-worker-specific discrimination law?

It would probably be nice to have one. I'm sure former sex workers are at risk of being fired if their employers found out about their past, and that kind of destroys efforts to help prostitutes find other lines of work (as just one example).

I just get kind of annoyed when lawsuits are the knee-jerk response to this kind of thing. It's frequently not possible to sue over a termination.
Florida. Just another southern fuck hole.
@10: Agreed. That really sucks.
@5, a "concerned citizen" leaked. And the spot showed.
Sink, Florida, sink!
i answer my own question: Jazella Moore

Perhaps, one of them recognized her as the object of his/her attraction last Friday night while releasing some work related stress? And, now can't stand to face her at an upcoming event, for fear he/she would become aroused?
I get awfully tired of responding to these posts by saying "What do you expect, it's Florida?" Or (just as often any more) "What do you expect, it's Texas?"

God, it would sure be nice if everybody below about the 40th parallel woke up and joined the rest of the country.
Heard about this.

"Did the city council have the right to fire him without cause by a simple majority vote?"

According to articles I've read, yes, they claim they did. So it sucks, and it's dumb, but it's hard to say it's sue-able. Perhaps it's petition time.
This is really important.
Really really important.
I was going to go to California to fight for gay marriage,
but instead I'm going to Florida to right this wrong.
@ 17, you realize Denver is below the 40th parallel, right? Baseline Road in Boulder is right on it.
Matt @20, yes, of course I knew that. But I was thinking more in terms of where it hits on the east coast.
what jerks. thanks for providing the email addresses. I emailed them.
Perhaps, it would be better to say it would be nice of small town/rural America joined the many urban archipelagos. Denver may exist below the 40th parallel, but it is an urban archipelago.
having a city manager who is married to a porn star is a feature, not a bug.

I find it interesting that they have three teenaged kids together, so it's not like this is some new relationship. So, I wonder what it was that tipped the balance? Did they just get married? Did the Council just catch on? Did she just start this "new job"?
It would be nicer if the North Koreans finally get their act together and nuke a couple of dozen West Coast 'archipelagos'.
I bet these five fucksticks provide Health Insurance for the city's employees and their families.
Does The Stranger?
Good God. If this is what Republicans are always going on about as "real America" and "small-town values" count me out. Who wants to live where one anonymous call by a neighbor can derail your life by forcing you to be fired from your job? Who wants to live in an America where any busybody gets dictatorial control of your work life and your private life?

No, I'd rather live amongst the "anti-American" urban elites who simply mind their business and let you pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
@27: Yes, the Stranger provides health insurance for its employees, their families, children, and domestic partners. My wife and child are insured through the paper. And your point is what?
Here's the story in the local paper (Fort Myers News Press). Notice that the majority of the comments by readers are pissed off at the mayor and his lackeys (one refers to them as the "Town Clowncil"):…
it took you long enough
This is funny! They fired the guy because they thought his marriage to a porn actress would "disrupt work" and now they're receiving tons of email and phone calls from people protesting the decision (wonder how many are from SLOG?) and it's disrupting their work:…

what about interns?
Do you call Terry your 'wife'?
Interns are unpaid staff and I doubt if very many unpaid interns ANYWHERE have health benefits.

nice try, though, and thanks for playing Douchebag of the Day!
unless there's discrimination under federal law or the relevant municipal codes say otherwise, I think emplyoment in the US is generally "at will":…

i.e. an employer can fire someone for any or no reason unless it explicitly violates a specific federal, state or local labor law or there was something in the contract that says the relationship is not at will.

i'm not a lawyer and reserve the right to be completely incorrect on this.

Babcock's not wearing any pants under his desk in that picture. Ten bucks says so.

Fort Myers is packed with strip clubs and escort agencies: Escapades, Babe's, Elegant Angels, Lookers, Southern Beauties, Classy Ladies, Pleasent [sic] Surprise, Attention You Desire, Tiffany's, Desiree's. Christ, it looks like it's the bulk of their tax base. Whole damn town ain't nothin' but a whorehouse.

Florida, you suck.
Homeless people and retirees and poor people are also unpaid.
Luckily none of them ever ever get sick and so won't miss not having insurance.

But, doesn't "at will" simply mean that an employer can let someone go without cause, but also without prejudice, as in when one is laid-off because of downsizing or administrative reorganization? I've never heard the term "firing" used in any other context other than FOR cause.

It's a semantical difference I grant you, but the article seems pretty clear on the point that the Town Council "fired" Mr. Janke, which, in my understanding at least, indicates something very different than "laid-off", and would leave the average person with a very unfavorable impression of the circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
I used to live in Ft. Myers 2 years back. It's basically a shithole. There is nothing fun to do. It's filled with old people. The weather is terrible. There is no sense of community. The beach would be nice if you didn't go in and feel like you're in bath water.

However, thinking that their behavior is particularly terrible is deluding yourself. In a substantial portion of this country, marrying a porn actress would yield the same results.
Mr. Janke should use the $50k to initiate a run for city council there in Ft. Myers Beach. This will let the electorate make the judgment call. In Sausalito, CA, Sally Stanford was a notorious Madam who ran a high class brothel in San Francisco decades ago. She successfully ran for city council in Sausalito.
I received a reply to my e-mail, some tidbits:

hat was done based on a conversation with Scott Janke was this. He initially offered to hand in his resignation. He said there is going to be a media blitz on this and it will probably prevent him from effectively managing the Town. His observation/prediction is ringing true. No one but the media is getting any work done now, it is amazing.

Because of the disruptions that this story could offer, the council acted quickly on his behalf, primarily one of the reasons being a private family matter for Scott that should only be addressed by him alone (at some point it will be his turn to respond to all of this and not ours). The option to release him without cause, allowed Scott to receive maximum benefits allowed by the contract. When he was told this, he was satisfied that the council made the correct decision.

If the city of Ft. Myers Beach is firing people because of their beliefs, or associations they need to take look at council woman Jo List. She actually ran admissions at a school for children based on the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard.. WTF!!!!

What is that city smoking - putting people like this in a position of power.
UPDATE: former town manager news interview video:…


You have a lot of nerve posting pictures of and soliciting attacks on good people. The town council followed Scott Janke’s own suggestion for dealing with the news of his wife’s occupation with the best intentions of preserving his privacy, protecting his family and his reputation. Scott also got a huge payday from the council for exercising the no fault clause in his contract. He got the Mayor to sell his soul to the media to hold the story for a day to "protect his family." The next morning he and Anabel flew to New york to do the talk show circuit. Family and privacy? What a load of crap! I don’t care what his wife does for a living. I do care that they ran a scam on the town they called home and people they called friends. Look at the timeline. They got married, in 30 days she made a new movie and bragged about her wedding to her peers. Then, two weeks before the movie is released an adult industry news reporter gets a “tip” about her life in Fort Myers, the same reporter she contacted for help getting her career restarted in Florida months earlier. Maybe she and Scott didn’t tip off the reporter but SOMEONE associated with that film did!! And now Scott, Anabel and anyone associated with that movie are CASHING IN!! The beach councilmen took the high road. This isn’t about free speech or small town values, its about a couple who found a path to a quick easy buck at taxpayer expense. Though I suppose there’s worse ways to get bailed out. You should get the rest of the story before you encourage harassment. I called Fort Myers and guess what? The Mayor himself answered the phone and gave me the real story. You posted his number but didn't even bother to call it and find out the facts yourself. Cut and paste journalism, nice. Way to earn credibility for your blog douche bag. Cronkite is rolling over in his grave.
here's the latest from the guy who broke the story. I bet you won't cover this with the same fanfare you covered his first article.
36 is correct: Employment in the US in general and Florida in particular is generally at-will, meaning that, in the absence of a written contract to the contrary, you can be fired for any reason, good or bad, or even for no reason so long as the reason is not an unlawful one.

Unlawful reasons include discrimination based on race, sex, age, disability, in retaliation for whistleblowing, etc. Almost all of the unlawful reasons are set forth in statutes, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Disrimination in Employment Act, and so forth.

However, in many states, courts have created an additional exception to the at-will doctrine where the discharge violates a specific public policy of the state. For instance, if your employer fires you for refusing to break a law, the termination may be unlawful even if the particular law at issue does not explicitly protect employees in your situation.

In this case, other exceptions with which I am less familiar (even though I am an employment lawyer!) may be at play. Because he was a public employee employeed by a subdivision of the state, he is entitled to additional protections and rights in his job above and beyond what private employees enjoy. For more information, see this article:….