NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTYFor Immediate Release: October 27, 2010
Steve Southerland Disrespects Local Veteran’s Body
Steve Southerland is right – we are learning a lot about him and it sure isn’t pretty. Today we learned from his opponent, NPA Candidate Dianne Berryhill, that he has been caught disrespecting a local veteran’s body, leaving a Panama City family devastated. And according to the clip from WJHG Channel 7 in Panama City, Southerland has no apologies for it.
“Steve Southerland left a local hero’s body to rot in the hot sun, while he squabbled with the grieving family over burial arrangements that he was obligated to take care of,” said Eric Jotkoff. “If this is the way Steve Southerland treats our heroes in uniform, then one can only imagine how he will treat our veterans if he gets to Washington.”
According to the WJHG report, Steve Southerland refused to remove a stump that prohibited the proper burial of Thomas S. Gaff, a U.S. Army veteran from Panama City. Due to Southerland’s callous behavior, the Gaff family was forced to delay the burial by four days following the funeral service in order to have the stump removed. The family even had to foot the bill for the cost of the stump removal, despite the fact that it was the responsibility of Southerland’s funeral home.
The Gaff family was so distraught over the situation they sued Southerland’s funeral home business. The matter was eventually settled.
“It’s clear from this devastating situation that Steve Southerland has no regard for the men and women who serve our country in uniform. There is nothing that Southerland could do to make up for his appalling behavior, but he must publicly apologize to the Gaff family and to all of the veterans throughout the country who have stood up and fought bravely for our freedom.”
Video of the WJHG report can be watched here: