Today, I have some good news. It turns out that some criminals do change their ways. Departing from their evil habits, they reform themselves.
Take Jane Shang, the city manager of Deltona. This was her first job in a while that required showing up. Her previous job was to stay away from the El Paso City Hall for about a year.
She was good at it, too. So good that she forgot that City Hall is not a residence dorm like they had in college. Few people could be better qualified to stay away from City Hall than Shang, so El Paso probably got its money’s worth.
With her new job in Deltona, however, Shang would end up living in Lake Mary. It was down in Seminole, but no problem: Shang registered to vote claiming she lived at City Hall.
That was a felony, as was voting based on the fraudulent registration, but she figured no one would be the wiser. It seems to have worked. Shang probably explained to the state attorney that she voted for him, whereupon he forgot that vote fraud is a crime.
Shang went on to lie to deputies in order to have some annoying citizens trespassed. Let us just say that 2018 was a good year for felonies. The deputies figured out that it was all lies, and rescinded the trespass warning. Shang avoided jail on that one, too.
Fortunately, criminals can sometimes change their ways. For 2019, it looks like Shang is working to improve. She threw a letter from a citizen out of her car and onto the city parking lot. This is a nice change from felonies: Littering and public-record destruction are just misdemeanors, and the deputies did not even bother to chase her down.
I guess going from felonies to misdemeanors is commendable, in a way. It shows that Shang is growing into the job, and cutting down on crime. Perhaps her next step will be traffic infractions.
Some might criticize Deltona for having a known felon as city manager. However, she appears to be in the process of reforming.
The worse problem is Shang’s policy for citizen complaints: The city insists they be written, and upon receipt will promptly ignore them. That leaves me wondering what Shang is thinking when she throws out those written complaints — maybe the public-records act does not apply to her?
— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.