The North Florida village of Hampton first started making headlines in February when a legislative audit revealed 31 violations of state law; the more pulpy bits included city officials discarding public records in a swamp, citizens who faced water shut off if they complained too much, and the over $200,000 Hampton made from speeding tickets in 2012 despite being only one square mile large. Like an angry parent, Florida lawmakers threatened Hampton with dissolution if they didn't clean up their act. Apparently they have, because as of last Friday Rep. Charles Van Zant and Sen. Rob Bradley have called off their quest to end the tiny Bradford County terror.
It took the resignation of every sitting Hampton official (a new election will be held in September), the dissolution of the near-twenty member police force, accounting for nearly $160,000 unexplained city expenses, promises to be more responsible civically, and the drafting of a bill that plans to wipe out the notorious speed trap on U.S. 301. The fab four Hamptons credited with turning things around are acting mayor Myrtice McCullough (who took office after previous mayor Barry Layne Moore was arrested for selling oxycontin), city councilman the Reverend Dan Willis, city clerk Amy Davis, and city attorney John Cooper. Van Zant praised the group's efforts as "yeoman's work."
Good job, Hampton. If you keep your grades up maybe Dad'll let you go with us to Action Park this summer. They've got this one water slide that goes in a full loop!
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