The Roman Catholic World

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

The JAX-Files:  November 16, 2010

The Ave Maria-Jackson Lab deal is being exposed one page at a time. 

Powerful landowners and developers are salivating over the prospect of getting millions of taxpayer dollars to make the Ave Maria-Jackson Lab deal happen.  After all, for those immersed in power, greed and control, using someone else’s money for a risky venture is always the way to go.

In this case, someone else’s money happens to be the taxpayer’s money.  It is no surprise that many Collier County citizens are suspicious of the controversial Ave Maria-Jackson Lab proposal.  Many consider it a corporate bail out for the Tom Monaghan-Barron Collier development of Ave Maria, a town in a remote area of Eastern Collier County, Florida.   

Fortunately for the citizens and taxpayers of Collier County, there’s a member of the Board of County Comissioners who will not stand for nonsense.  His name is Tom Henning.  He has been the consistent lone dissenting voice against the Jackson Lab proposal, based on his conviction that this deal cannot be forced upon the citizens, without a voter’s referendum.  

Starting today, Commissioner Henning is officially joined by Georgia Hiller, the new commissioner from District 2, who ran on a platform of transparency and accountability.

Last week, Chuck E. Hewett, Executive Vice President of The Jackson Lab sent the following invitation to Commissioner Henning,  in what appears to be a last-minute desperate attempt to unabashedly court Henning’s  favor in support of the Ave Maria-Jackson Lab taxpayer deal, and just prior to Georgia Hiller’s arrival on the Board of Commissioners.

The reader should pay careful attention to the familiar tone of “Dear Tom” which Hewett uses  to address Commissioner Henning.  Dr. Hewett dispenses with the protocol expected when addressing an elected official– in a public record, an act which also denotes a disregard for the citizens that elected Commissioner Henning.  Dr. Hewett concludes by signing, “Chuck”. 

Is this the way to address a county commissioner who will be casting his vote regarding millions of taxpayer dollars, in a deal involving the company that Dr. Hewett represents?

Dr. Hewett’s informal approach should be cause for concern to taxpayers and the public in general– given that Commissioner Henning has been firm in his opposition to the Jackson Lab proposal, and conducts himself with the decorum expected of his position.  But, imagine the familiarity that Dr. Hewett may be enjoying with Commissioners Fiala, Coyle, Coletta and  the recently retired Commissioner Halas– considering that they have supported the Jackson Lab deal all the way. 

On the other hand, Commissioner Henning responded to Dr. Hewett’s correspondence in a formal and respectful manner. 

A book about etiquette is in order for Dr. Hewett’s perusal –or should we call him “Chuck” from now on?

This behavior on the part of Dr. Hewett is no different than the special interest lobbying that goes on in Washington DC– in a delirious fury for taxpayer money.

From: Chuck Hewett
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 4:32 PM
To: henning_t
Cc: Louise Lopez
Subject: Visit the Lab?

Dear Tom,

It dawned on me that we have never formally invited you to visit The Jackson Lab
in Bar Harbor.  Certainly, we’d love to have you come.

If you are interested, depending on what worked for you, we could make it a
convenient visit.  You could arrive in the afternoon, join us for dinner, tour
the Lab and meet some folks the next morning, and depart after lunch.  This
would keep your time away from Collier County to less than two days.  Of course,
we’d be happy to arrange a more leisurely visit if that’s what you preferred. 
If you would like to have others accompany you, they’d be more than welcome.

Please let me know if this is an invitation you’d like to accept.



Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine  04609-1500


To which Commissioner Henning replied:

From: henning_t
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 2:04 PM
To: Chuck Hewett
Subject: RE: Visit the Lab?

Mr. Hewett
My understanding Jackson Labs is not looking to relocate the Maine operation to
Collier County. Others may disagree, to be frank it’s a waste of your time and
taxpayers money to visit your operation in Maine.
It is our understanding (if) Jackson Labs receives $260 million from the
Taxpayers, Jackson will create a new non-profit venture specializing  in
personalize medicine.

Please tell us what Jackson Labs will commit if your non-profit company is
gifted Taxpayers money and when will the Taxpayers see a direct benefit.

Respectfully Commissioner Henning

In the following reply, notice how Chuck Hewett flagrantly ignores Commissioner Henning’s request for accountability:

From: Chuck Hewett
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:41 AM
To: henning_t
Subject: RE: Visit the Lab?

Commissioner Henning,

I’m disappointed that you’re not interested in a visit.  Hope to see you soon,



Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine  04609-1500

Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your
e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send
electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by telephone or in

[Even though these are public records, phone numbers and e-mail addresses were omitted as a courtesy, in this publication].

♦   ♦   ♦

Marielena Montesino de Stuart

You may read Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s observations and opinions through: 

RenewAmerica, USAToday, U.S. Politics Today (a EIN News Service for Political Professionals) Poynter Online, Spero News, The New Liturgical Movement-Poland, The Naples Daily News, Les Femmes-The Truth, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs, The Wanderer, etc.

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Ave Maria, Florida + The Chronicles of Ave Maria© + Corruption in Florida + Ave Maria University + The Jackson Laboratory + Charles “Chuck” E. Hewett + Collier County Board of County Commissioners + Commissioner Tom Henning + Commissioner Georgia Hiller + Workshops and Resources for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research + Eugenics + Margaret Sanger + Tom Monaghan + Tom Golisano +  Nick Healy + Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of AMU + Barron Collier Companies + The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District + Bishop Frank J. Dewane.


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