It seems like a day cannot go by without some new column/report/revelation about the sordid scandal that has rocked the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority.
The latest news is that State Attorney Jeff Ashton has dropped one of the charges against former board member Scott Batterson, leading to speculation that a deal is in the works to flip Batterson against … well, who knows? It’s a rogues’ gallery of developers, former politicians and hangers-on caught up in that scandal.
Eventually, Batterson and several others will stand before a judge and be held accountable for what they’ve done.
Yet, for Chris Dorworth, it isn’t a judge he should be worried about, it’s St. Peter.
Like a Manhattanite trying to score a table at a four-star restaurant, Chris Dorworth will one day try to make his way through the Pearly Gates. Except the maitre d’ of Chez Heaven won’t be having any of it.
“I’m sorry, but we’re all filled up tonight,” St. Peter will say. “Perhaps you’d like a seat in our bar, Purgatory.”
“Do you know who I am?!” Dorworth will bellow.
“Yes, Mr. Dorworth, we know exactly who you are,” St. Peter will say. “And while we are able to look past 99% of your transgressions — we are a forgiving bunch around here — there’s that matter of a real estate deal which is preventing us from seating you.”
St. Peter will then pull out a copy of the June 29 edition of the Orlando Sentinel and point to the story headlined, “Dorworth ‘flips’ land near parkway route.“
Dorworth will gulp and start staring at his shoes, except he’s not wearing any because this is, of course, outside of Heaven.
St. Peter will then read aloud:
“On the same day in late April that former state Rep. Chris Dorworth bought 18 acres along the planned Wekiva Parkway for $960,000, he sold it to a home builder for $3.2 million, property records show. … Dorworth purchased the property … from the Catholic Diocese of Orlando on April 29. He sold it the same day to home builder Taylor Morrison of Florida Inc.”
St. Peter will then begin to escort Dorworth away from the reservation desk.
“See, Mr. Dorworth, we’re not opposed to real estate speculation,” St. Peter says with a stern look on his face, as the halo above his head begins to glow brighter. “Lord knows, the Church has done quite well in this area over the centuries.”
“But!” St. Peter begins to boom, “You do not flip one of OUR properties for three times what you paid for it ON THE SAME DAY.”
By this time, St. Peter has Dorworth by the elbow and is firmly moving him to the Purgatory Bar.
“Did you not think for one moment that our people in Orlando could have not put that money to better use than having you fritter it away on white limos and cocktails with Jason Brodeur?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but up here we have standards,” St. Peter will say, having planted Dorworth on a stool, “and you can get away with a lot But you don’t get away with beating God out of a real estate deal!”
By this point, Dorworth finally realizes his actions have caught up with him. What he was able to get away with on Earth evidently doesn’t go over so well upstairs.
“Why don’t you have a drink and think about what you did,” St. Peter will tell Dorworth as he exits Purgatory Bar. “Your first round is on the house.”