Santamaria takes aim at longtime rivalby Jennifer Sorentrue | September 30th, 2013
Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria launched a fiery attack Thursday at his longtime rival Andy Schaller of Wellington.
In an email message Thursday, Santamaria urged Schaller to “make an appointment with the most competent psychiatrist in Palm Beach County as soon as possible.”
Santamaria copied the email message, which was titled “long overdue constructive advice” to the seven-member commission and several top level county administrators. The message was in response to a lengthy email Schaller sent to county commissioners last week about a road paving project in the Palm Beach Ranchettes community, west of Lake Worth, where he owns a home.
Schaller, a former commission candidate who lost to Santamaria in 2010, has been critical of the way the county has handled road projects in the Ranchettes neighborhood.
Santamaria and Schaller have a long history.
Santamaria filed suit against Schaller in 2011, alleging that a 118-page inquiry request Schaller released during the 2010 campaign contained libelous statements that damaged the commissioner’s reputation. Santamaria lost the suit and an appeal.
The inquiry request, sent to state and county investigators, questioned whether Santamaria had a criminal record. It cited the 1991 felony conviction of Jesus R. Santamaria, who has the same middle initial as the commissioner.
“Does Santamaria have a felony record?” the inquiry asked.
State criminal records show the commissioner has never been arrested.