Property appraiser Rob Turner caught in sexting scandal fights for political life

5:56 PM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- There's one race getting the attention of a lot of people--even if they aren't affected by the office--because it involves pornography, sex and allegations of discrimination. 

The race generating interest is for Hillsborough County property appraiser where incumbent Rob Turner is in deep trouble thanks to his personal actions. This time around he is being challenged by State Senator Ronda Storms.

10 News Investigators has covered many of the problems Turner has encountered. Turner, who has completed 16 years in the office, should have been a shoe in for the office because most say he has done an outstanding job as property appraiser. However, he has also done an outstanding job of shooting himself in the foot with his moral lapses.

This race comes down to one question: will voters give a pass to an efficient officer holder who crossed the line with a female employee. Turner called the entire episode a "personal mistake".

The "personal mistake" was Turner's relationship with his office's former Human Resource Director Carolyn Fillippone.

Turner admitted he emailed her pornography, made a request for sexual intercourse, sent her pictures of his privates, and made inquires about her breasts as she claimed in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suit that was denied by the commission. 

Turner who doesn't deny the pornography maintained he didn't recall sending a picture of his privates.

"Clearly I am embarrassed and I apologize to my family, I have to deal with those issues," Turner said in an interview with the 10 News Investigators a few months ago.

Turner fired Fillippone but maintained his lapse in judgment shouldn't affect the election.

 "That was a personal mistake it should have no affect on the office."

State Senator Ronda Storms believes it does have an effect. Storms is giving up her Senate seat to run against Turner and is giving him the political fight of his life.

"Maybe the voters will say that is completely unrelated but I am going to give them the opportunity to make that judgment," says Storms.

Storms says the biggest shock to her is that Turner can't understand why he is in the hot seat.

"Certainly it is a shock to people who are voters and elected him as a conservative pro- family candidate."

But while Turner has the experience, Storms who is smart, a former English teacher, attorney, county commissioner and state senator can also be a lightning rod with some of her ultra conservative positions.

Ironically, the property appraiser's office is moving out of their offices this week to a satellite location because of the Republican National Convention.

Could it be a sneak preview of Turner moving out of the office for good?

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