UNIVERSITY PARK -- Sarasota County government is asking Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates to investigate Paul Blackketter after a video surfaced of Blackketter, the nonprofit's president, screaming and using multiple expletives.
In the video posted to YouTube on Saturday, Blackketter is in SANCA attire and screaming at a man who is not shown on the video.
"You are a (expletive) slimy slimeball," Blackketter said in the video. "You lied to me. ... Get out of my face. Get the (expletive) out of my face. ... I'll call Randy Benderson."
In the one-minute video, Blackketter can be heard using profanity at least eight times.
Nathan Benderson Park, a Sarasota County park, is run by the nonprofit SANCA. Nathan Benderson Park has hosted a number of high-profile events and will host the 2017 World Rowing Championship.
"The county has received notification of a video regarding an alleged incident that occurred at Nathan Benderson Park involving Paul Blackketter, the president and employee of SANCA," Sarasota County said in a statement. "County administration has sent a letter to SANCA regarding the matter and requested they investigate the incident. Sarasota County has high standards of excellence for customer service and expects the highest level of professionalism from all those who represent the county, including our contractors and vendors."
In a letter dated Tuesday from Sarasota Assistant County Attorney Steve Botelho to SANCA Board of Directors chairman Bill Robinson, Botelho said the county received notification about an incident that occurred at Nathan Benderson Park involving Blackketter.
When reached by phone
Tuesday afternoon, Blackketter deferred comment to Robinson.
"The video has been shared with the board of SANCA," Robinson said Tuesday afternoon. "We are now aware of the issue and we are treating it with our highest priority. It's something that we are investigating thoroughly."
In the letter to Robinson, Botelho said, "Sarasota County expects the highest level of professionalism from all those who represent the County, including our contractors and vendors. The County does not condone nor approve of this type of behavior. Since Mr. Blackketter is a SANCA employee, the County expects the SANCA Board to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident."
Robinson said from a board perspective, it is a high priority to get to a resolution. While Robinson has not called a special board meeting as of Tuesday, the board's next scheduled meeting is Nov. 4.
"My first goal is to investigate this thoroughly in regard to inside and outside information," Robinson said.
When asked whether the investigation will be conducted by the board or an outside agency, Robinson said it "depends on what we find."
"It all depends on the information that we gather," he said. "If we need to go further, we will definitely. From what facts I've been given, there are two sides to every story. Not that the board condones Paul's video appearance. In hearing some of Paul's testimony, there are two sides to how this individual event took place. It was just basically a personality conflict."
In the letter, which was also sent to other officials including Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker and Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley, Botelho asks Robinson to "keep the county apprised of the results of your investigation."
In the three years on the board, Robinson said nothing like this has happened before, adding that they don't condone the video.
"There has been a lot of good that we have done at SANCA, needless to say the 2017 World Championships that will come to Manatee/Sarasota area," he said.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.