Fired Employee Reacted to Depression Med: Became Violent with Wife

Paragraphs 16 through 19 read:  "Tomlinson and his wife of 32 years, Carol, blame the incident on the adverse reaction he had to an anti-depressant prescribed by his doctor."

" 'Instead of helping me, it made me go the other way,'  Tomlinson said. 'I'm not a violent person. It's a shame I have to suffer for one mistake'."

"Carol Tomlinson, an emergency medical technician, said she recognized his behavior that day as a reaction to the medication, which is why she signed a waiver of prosecution for the State Attorney's Office. The charges were dropped."

"Carol Tomlinson said the incident wouldn't have happened had her husband, who she described as calm and easy going, not been on the anti-depressant."

http://www.newschief.com/article/20100402/NEWS/4025040/1021/NEWS01?Title=Tomlinson-looks-to-put-past-behind-him-to-make-town-better

Tomlinson looks to put past behind him to make town better

By Donna Kelly
News Chief staff

Published: Friday, April 2, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 2, 2010 at 1:37 a.m.

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LAKE HAMILTON – Larry Tomlinson said his love for the town and a desire to make it better – not revenge – are the reasons behind his quest for a Town Council seat.

Larry Tomlinson said he holds no animosity toward council members who fired him.
Polk County Sheriff's Office

Tomlinson, who was fired in May from his position as a town maintenance worker, is challenging incumbent Emmett Wilkinson, a retired state auditor, for Seat 2. Municipal elections will be held 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Women's Club at 85 Omaha St.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Tomlinson, a 1974 graduate of Haines City High School who worked as a produce manager for two grocery stores before joining the town's Public Works department in 1991. "I've lived in Lake Hamilton all my life. It's a good little town."

Tomlinson, 54, said he doesn't harbor ill feelings toward the council members who voted to fire him but he does want to clear his name.

"I don't want to see anyone done like I was done," he said.

Town records indicate Mayor Marlene Wagner recommended the council fire Tomlinson on May 5 in light of documented instances of insubordination and failure to comply with orders issued by Public Works Director Jim Yeomans.

But Tomlinson maintains these complaints were fabricated and describes them as "95 percent lies and half truths."

"I worked 18 years and never had a problem until the new supervisor (Yeomans) and mayor (Wagner) arrived," he explained.

He said believes his lengthy tenure with the town gives him a knowledge and understanding of how the town operates and these will help in making decisions as a councilman.

"I am willing to get in there and fight for what's right," he said.

Tomlinson said he wants to look into how the town spends money.

"I feel they are wasting money in some places," he said, referring to the purchase of new police cars last year. "And they are not spending it in others."

He would like the town to repair more streets and replace playground equipment. He also wants to increase the amount of time, currently three minutes, members of the public are allowed to speak at council meetings.

During a phone interview Thursday, Tomlinson also addressed his April 26 arrest – just six days after receiving a letter of suspension and notification of a recommendation for termination by Wagner – by the Lake Hamilton Police Department for aggravated assault with a firearm and domestic battery after holding a gun to his wife's head.

Tomlinson and his wife of 32 years, Carol, blame the incident on the adverse reaction he had to an anti-depressant prescribed by his doctor.

"Instead of helping me, it made me go the other way," Tomlinson said. "I'm not a violent person. It's a shame I have to suffer for one mistake."

Carol Tomlinson, an emergency medical technician, said she recognized his behavior that day as a reaction to the medication, which is why she signed a waiver of prosecution for the State Attorney's Office. The charges were dropped.

Carol Tomlinson said the incident wouldn't have happened had her husband, who she described as calm and easy going, not been on the anti-depressant.

The Tomlinsons have one son, Daniel Tomlinson, 27, who lives in Lake Hamilton.

Tom Mace, a 26-year resident of Lake Hamilton, has known Tomlinson for two decades. He describes him as an honest, hardworking person who is dedicated to the town.

Mace said Tomlinson's knowledge of the water plant and water main system would serve him well as a council member.

"It's valuable for somebody in there to know the workings of the plant and town hall," Mace said. "He's top notch at maintaining facilities."

Tomlinson said he believes his opponent, Wilkinson, is a good man. And while it was Wilkinson who made the motion to dismiss Tomlinson, Tomlinson indicated he held no grudge.

The victor in this race will be the first town council member to serve a three-year term. As current terms expire for each seat, newly elected council members will serve three-year terms. Council members are paid $420 annually.

donna.kelly@newschief.com