State Attorney Mark A. Ober

January 7th, 2010 by

Let Mark Ober know in an intelligent way the severity of arson and how unacceptable it is to ignore first responders with this wanton disregard for the law!

Office Location
Mark A. Ober
State Attorney – Thirteenth Judicial Circuit

Tampa Office
419 N. Pierce Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
(813) 272-5400
E-mail: !

Office Hours:
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

71 Responses

  1. Joseph Kevelighan

    Mr. Ober:

    Failing to prosecute every violation of the law because of behind the scenes “good old boys” deals is totally unacceptable. The fine first responders in the Todd Schnitt “stunt” case deserve better than this egregious overlooking of the law. Please do the right thing and bring the proper charges in this matter.


    Joseph Kevelighan

  2. Michelle

    This is the e-mail that I sent to Mr Ober

    Mr. Ober, it has come to my attention that the radio stunt, Mr Shnitt that had caused the fire rescue and police to come out to a location that had NOT pulled permits will not be getting ANY charges against them? Can you please explain how the law can be so Bias?

    Why is it that people or companies with money are allowed to get away with breaking the law and not be charged or serve any jail time for crimes that has been commited? The dj stated that he did NOT pull any permits for this and he is still not being charged? A fireman got hurt and still no charges filed? There was another fire that broke out and because of his total disregard for the law that fire truck and personnel were unable to respond and help for a REAL emergency.

    We all would like an explaination as to how and why this company and or the DJ that set up the stunt has not be charged and/or fined.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at 813-728-9580.


    Michelle Pierrain

  3. Steve

    You need to take action regarding this thoughtless, dangerous prank that endagered lives! If this was any “average” citicen we would be prosecuted!


  4. Dave

    The email doesn’t look right, I haven’t sent my email yet but can you confrm that it is correct please? Thanks!!

  5. mike petty

    I actually heard the live broadcast of MJ’s show, and I am a fan of his show, but this was too far. He needs to be charged with arson. A simple slap on the wrist tells every other radio show, including Bubba, that this type of thing is ok.

  6. Francis Bourque

    Dear Sir,

    I am wondering why the DJ “M.J. Kelley” has not been charged with anything after he started a fire in a van and then blew up a turkey in the same van increasing the fire and smoke. He did this dispite being told that he needed permits, he called it a “public service” promotion which is a joke, he did this knowing what would happen not thinking about what may happen to others. He has endangered public safety and proclaimed himself above the law. The implied connections that his wife may have or his neighbor may have make things seem very wrong. To put firemen and the public in danger this way should not be tolerated.

  7. Rachel Sawyer

    How come someone setting fires in the ybor vacant homes once caught will be charged for arson and this guy does the same thing with a video camera on air for the tampa bay area to hear broadcasting hey I’m setting fires not be treated the same as someone we can’t seem to find? If he was any normal person on the street acting stupid enough to set a fire inside a van, you would charge him. Why is this guy so special? Why is he above the laws that any other citizen of hillsborough county has to obide by? Not only did he do this premeditated. But you have video of the whole thing. Thats called evidence. On top of all that our local firefighter first responders were hurt. Nobody should be put in harms way for a stunt like this.

  8. david palmer

    Good morning Mr. Ober i would like to tell you how unacceptable it is to ignore first responders with this wanton disregard for the law!Clear Channel and MJ should be charged with 1st degree arson, this should be a slam dunk for you and your office! Thank you for your time and consideration.

  9. Troy Harris

    how can you not charge MJ with arson when you charge BUBBA for killing a pig come on fair is fair you have got to bring him up on arson charges

  10. joyce

    This Is Just Not Right
    Arson Is A Crime And There Was
    Somebody Hurt Over Somthing Stupid

  11. Peter Rentschler

    A first time offender who deliberately sets fire to a home, building, etc. should be locked up for a cosiderable amount of time. EXAMPLE: Florida’s gun law 10-20 years in prison with almost no exceptions. This should be the way we deal with arson.

  12. James Ostraco

    You suck Mr Ober for being a part of Tampas Good OLe Boy Network. Prosecute Mj cause you know he needs to be fore committing a crime!!!!

  13. Kevin Hutter

    Dear Mr.Ober,
    Myself as a security officer and a first responder,I am very concerned of the way how the radio personallity MJ purposely neglected the govering laws and practices for his ratings, and putting surrounding people in danger. This is just plain Arson and should be investigated. I am sure that charges will be brought with a proper investigation.
    Thank You,
    Kevin Hutter

  14. Chris C

    I think Todd Shnit should be prosecuted under the arson charge. I think if I were to do some thing stupid as the premeditated stunt Todd pulled I would have been arrested on the spot. He also thumbs his nose at you and law enforcement by saying permit smermit. I am outraged at this statement. He has also been told in the past he had to have a permit and still did not apply. And there is no way that can be called a Public safety announcement. How is dropping a turkey through a van roof with a lit fryer in the back a reasonable situation? The thing that gets me the most is the waste of public money and resources on a stupid radio stunt. The fireman hurt was unnecessarry as well. I do hope you listen to the public who voted you in and prosecute accordingly.

    Thanks for your time
    Chris C

  15. edward williams

    Sir if MJ kelly is not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law we will saying it’s alright to commit crimes such as this or any other. MR. kelly feel that anyone who wrongs him should be prosecuted and jailed,loss of money. please sir do what you were hired to do. the first responders could have been injured further or even worse killed. mj’s actions along with those involved this is unacceptable.

  16. pat

    MJ Kelley intentionally engineered a stunt that caused an
    injury to a firefighter and I’m hearing that you don’t have
    balls enough to prosecute him. The State Attorney is being
    bias for him due to your association with his wife and the
    good old boy association with Barry.
    If you don’t wish to do your job,quit.
    You could probably get a full time job sucking up to Barry.

  17. thomas182

    Bubba is usually wrong but not this time. Ned for president!!!!

  18. Chris - Winter Haven Fl

    Mr. Ober

    Not Charging Todd Schnitt for blatently dirsregarding and breaking laws is not only Unacceptable it is unfair. If an average person not on the radio with a high priced lawyer be given a free pass on a stunt that injured a firerighter? This man responded to a emergency without question as he was trained to do and injured because if the stupidity and arrogance of a wannabe DJ and His idiot staff. He should be held resonsible as would an average citizen and given no special treatment. Please send a message that no matter who represents you or who you think you are you are not above the law!!!

    Thank you

    Chris – Winter Haven, Fl

  19. todd d. kjeer

    mark ober, this ridiculous stunt by todd schnitt, done year after year after year until he finally got the outcome that he wanted, was totally unnecessary. given the same exact stunt (less the van, crane, furniture etc.) is all over youtube and other viral sites, it is hardly a public service!!!!! to put first responders or any human in danger is a crime in itself. my question for you is, if the fireman who was injured was more severely injured or God forbid killed, would there be any different action taken?? i feel the action should be the same. DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

  20. clayton940

    Mr. Ober,
    I am not a resident of Tampa or even Florida. But I am resident of the Good state of Pennsylvania. And as a volunteer Fire Fighter and EMT I found it disgusting that you allow this person to get away with, what is essentialy arson. Which is defined by Websters as:

    Pronunciation: \ˈär-sən\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Anglo-French arsoun, from ars, past participle of arder, ardre to burn, from Latin ardēre — more at ardor
    Date: circa 1680

    : the willful or malicious burning of property (as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent

    — ar·son·ist \-ist\ noun

    — ar·son·ous \-əs\ adjective

    MJ Kelly Did not have permits, broadcast it on radio, injured a fire fighter (I am sure the union will be talking to you regarding this as well) and put it as a public service announcement. But correct me if I am wrong (and I know I’m not). You injure a fire fighter during an arson that at a minimum is a depraved assault charge, and correct me if I am wrong (and I know I’m not) to get clearance to do a PSA you need to have permits and to have the necessary emergency units on standby AT THE LOCATION THE PSA IS TAKING PLACE AT. None of this was done. But you seem to feel it is ok to turn a blind eye to this.I hope you get run out town on a rail. And MJ deserves to get put in jail for this disgusting offence.

  21. James Evans

    Dear Mr Ober,

    It is now public knowledge that Todd Schnitt aka. Radio Personality MJ Kelly has deliberately and unlawfully set fire to a large vehicle for entertainment purposes which required First Responders to rush to the scene to deal with this radio stunt. There was collateral damage causing a Fire Fighter to be injured and pollutants were spewed into the air from the burning gasoline, plastics, oil and paint. Furthermore, I have heard that you are considering not charging him with a violation of state fire codes or arson. He has a history of not acquiring permits for these fire related stunts and he has publicly inferred that he is above the law on his own radio program.

    I have heard opinions that there has been much influence peddling on the behalf of Todd Schnitt’s wife (Attorney Michelle Schnitt) involving several lawsuits and their attorney Barry Cohen because of ties to the judicial system in Hillsboro and Pinellas County. The image of your office is already tarnished because of this good ol’ boy network that you might be involved in. Please bring respectability and justice back to Florida’s Judicial System by charging Todd Schnitt appropriately and allowing a jury of his peers to decide his fate.


    James Evans
    Spring Hill, FL

  22. Chad Max

    Fines are simply not enough! This guy should do time, and unfortunately that is how the system works for people who can afford to buy their way out of of trouble, and the kind of history you have with someone should not help.

    My thought is that Ober is on the take.
    Just as bad as every other lawyer out there.

  23. Michelle Ruszin

    Here’s mine Bubba!

    Mr. Ober,

    It was brought to my attention that you might not be planning to charge the “MJ” morning show and affiliates with any crimes regarding the recent incident involving the fire that incidentally injured a firefighter. My husband is a paramedic and I would be absolutely outraged if he was injured due to a “stunt” that a radio personality thought would be funny. The premeditation was obvious, as was the blatant disregard for the laws that I myself have to abide. I’m not exempt from the law as it seems that “MJ” seems to be. Not to mention the other people that could have been injured or possibly died during that time because they weren’t able to get care fast enough because these firefighters were forced to have to put out an obvious fire that was planned as a joke. I hope you will prove to us that you aren’t picking and choosing who is an is not above the law.

    Thank you.

  24. mike

    I know this sounds odd, but isnt there a concern the fact that the airport is 6 miles away from 4002 gandy, and shouldnt tsa be concerned that somoene was attempting to create a “bomb”? after all, there were no permits pulled, and it was premeditated, and anyone who cuts a hole out of a van, and uses it as a cannon, has intentions to explode the van near an airport, may be concern for terrorist activity. If you laugh at my explaination, maybe you need to also laugh at News channel 4 in Jacksonville,they also appear to think deepfrying a frozen turkey constitudes as a “bomb” as well.. Mark Ober also has a fiduciary responsibility to address these concerns. ..Read below for the article about news channel 4.
    Cooking 101: Deep Fried Turkey

    POSTED: Saturday, November 21, 2009
    UPDATED: 5:42 am EST November 21, 2009

    10 steps to Deep Fried Turkey 101

    It MUST BE defrosted and washed and make sure there are no pop up tender timer devices or anything left inside. You will also need to truss the turkey, meaning you need to secure the legs, neck flap, wings and tail to the body of the turkey. A Frozen turkey in hot oil is a BOMB! BE CAREFUL!

  25. Thick Vic

    How dare you pardon this moron MJ Kelly for pulling a stunt without the proper safety precautions, letting it get outta control and injuring another human. But you guys crucified BUBBA for castrating that pig on the air with the help of a professional.

  26. R. Sanders

    Mr. Ober, what type of example are you sending to your community and your piers by picking when and when not to follow the Law? A child would receive a harsh punishment for pulling a fire alarm at school and the parents would float the bill to the city for the stunt and waist of manpower, so why is this any different? Seems very fishy. I think you should keep this in mind next time you plan to run for office, I am in the military and as my first Commanding Officer once told me, “One awe sh#t kills ten that-a-boy’s”, maybe you should read the oath you took for the office you hold. You serve the public, and it would seem that the public is speaking, the lie comes first but the truth always follows.

    Very Respectfully,
    MM1 (SS) Sanders, USN
    Honor, Courage, Commitment

  27. Michael Geiger

    This is what I sent:
    Your Mission is to ensure that justice is accomplished in all matters relating to the prosecution of criminal offenses. While you must remain vigorous in guarding the rights of all individuals who have contact with the criminal justice system, the protection of the citizens of Hillsborough County shall be our foremost consideration in whatever task you are pursuing. You must also zealously advocate for the rights of victims of crimes committed within your jurisdiction.

    As per Florida State Statue 806.01 Arson
    (2) Any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged any structure, whether the property of himself or herself or another, under any circumstances not referred to in subsection (1), is guilty of arson in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.775.083, or s. 775.084.

    (3) As used in this chapter, “structure” means any building of any kind, any enclosed area with a roof over it, any real property and appurtenances thereto, any tent or other portable building, and any vehicle, vessel, watercraft, or aircraft.

    There is just cause that Todd Schnitt aka “MJ Kelly” should be charged and said Todd Schnitt aka “MJ Kelly” should be properly processed through the system.

    Michael Geiger

  28. Tim Manus

    Why there is a double standard on laws depending on whom you know and are associated with is what is wrong with society today,For Todd Schnitt A.K.A MJ Kelly of the MJ Morning show has been let to run free after committing 1st degree arson,and broadcasting it on the air and videoing.The fire got to point of being out of control.The fire department was called to deal with this; in the process 1 of the gentlemen fell and got hurt. I hear the comments “he was not hurt that bad” it does not matter the severity of the injury, it is the point that he should not have had to deal with this minuscule of a man and his egotistical,narcissistic, blatant disregard for the law because Todd Schnitt feels he is impervious to ALL laws, but anyone who crosses him must be harassed by the police and his lawyers and be sued with slap law suits because his wife once worked in a division of YOUR department is a true travesty. You have been elected and hired and sworn to do a duty NO MATTER the person so quit resting on your laurels and do what I and the rest of society pay you to do through taxes paid, and do what is right.You are teaching the next generation that this is O.K. and it is not. Feel free to reply.
    Tim Manus

  29. Tim Manus

    I forgot to put this in this is what I sent to Mr.Ober.

  30. j jackson

    Dear Sir,

    From your actions to not prosecute it sounds like i can set a van on fire and not worry about anyone who may get hurt trying to take care of my bad decision. MJ Kelly is not above the law. It would appear he committed arson, you should do the right thing and let a jury of his peers determine if he broke any laws. I’m sure with his comments on air “permits schmermits” he won’t do so well.

  31. chuchi


  32. Kevin

    Intent to set fire without written consent to a building or automobile is unlawful! With insurance claims at an all time high this does constitute arson and any damages to property or human life must seek restitution

  33. Ricky Huertas

    MR. Ober

    We hope that you will perform your job and charge M.J Kelly ( Todd Shnitt ) as he should be according to the laws. He has commited Arson and set a fire without proper permits as well as injuring a fire fighter and then laughing about it. It is an outrage and the public will be in rage if he goes unpunished. As well as all the copy cats that will in sue if this is not upheld properly by going to court and facing a jury. I look forward to M.J Kelly being punished as he should be as any citizen and set an example to all . And then maybe all the copy cats will know not to do what he did. Sincerely, Ricky Huertas

  34. Susan

    You people are supposed to be putting all this stuff in an E mail to Ober by clicking the link above, not leaving these comments on this page.

  35. Jeremy

    As the son of a former volunteer firefighter the actions of one Mr. Schnitt are, in my opinion, freightening and simply dangerous. To knowingly, and willingly, put a fireman in harms way is an action that can NOT be accepted. You have the opprotunity to make a difference and show that a firefighters life is more valuable than a stupid radio stunt.

  36. sara

    What if you or someone you loved was in a house fire or you were in an accident but no one came or if they did they didnt come soon enough because they were tied up with pure nonsense?

    As a tax payer I want to know who paid for this 911 call.

    As far as this being an accident or a demonstration I say there is evidnce in the USTREAM video that says otherwise.

    the host kept saying “we” and MJ and the crew. He really thought he was going to get that gold star for this stunt.
    the host-the van is already on fire. The term “already” means to me it was suppose to catch fire just at a later time. If this wasnt aimed to catch fire then around 11 minutes into the video/live audio stream when someone inside saw flames and smoke and they were pointed it out to the host everyone started laughing about it catching fire.
    the host never seemed displeased with the way this stunt played out but rather happy – I want the tires to melt.

    The actions of this MJ and crew were not only irresponsible for not having proper safety equimpment and proper permits, but wreckless with the safety of the very people who are suppose to help and protect us.

    I ask you to please pass this event and video along to all who live in the area to let them know just how their resources are being spent.

    An email will be sent with facts from the video and my concerns about the safety of the community.

  37. Darin

    State Attorney Ober,

    Like many here have previously stated, I also share my concerns whether the incident on Dec 18th when the “MJ Morning Show” hosted by Todd Schnitt, had directed a member of his morning show to deliberately start a fire in a van to show the dangers of using a turkey fryer in a van.

    I do like MJ and the Morning Show he broadcasts on a daily bases. However, there is a point where he needs to be held accountable for his irresponsible behavior. I trust that the incident on Dec 18 will be investigated fully and corrective action is administered promply.

    Furthermore; MJ’s irresponsibility in his broadcast is further demonstrated when another member of his show produces a crank call to business, or a private individual, that could promote a person to use the 911 emergency system needlessly.

    MJ needs to learn that his irresponsible actions have consiquesces and corrective action needs to be administered in a timely manor.

    I trust you will do the right thing. MJ does do a lot of good in the community, but just like anyone who does good in their community – also need to be held accountable for the wrong they do as well.

    Best Wishes.

  38. Tom DeKoster

    At the very least Todd Schnidt should have to pay all the costs of the emergency response and firefighters expenses!

  39. thomas

    you need too charge mj with a crime and let a jury of his peers decide his fate you cant let him get away with this because you are friends with his wife. if thats the case i will set my truck on fire in my yard and put it on youtube

  40. Joseph Pallotta


    I think that MJ Kelly needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for his “Deep Fried Turkey” stunt. He was forewarned on numerous occassions that the stunt was not safe. He refused to have emergency personnel on site knowing that a deep fried turkey can cause major fires if not done properly. He also had no valid permits for that stunt. He said that he didn’t need any permits for anything, but I need to get a permit to have a yard sale. Where does he think that he is above the law? On his morning show he always told listeners that if they know of anyone that committed a crime to call him and he will notify the authorities. Well, he broke the law with that stunt. When he first started the stunt it was for a differant purpose, but when things went wrong he changed his story and told listeners that he wanted to show the dangers of deep frying a turkey. If that was the case, where were the emergency personnel? I just think that if he so follows the law and he did something like this, he should have to take responsibility for what he has done. If people get arresred and prosecuted for lesser crimes, MJ Kelly should have to answer for his crime of arson and, if possible, failure to secure proper permits. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

    Thank You,
    Joseph Pallotta

  41. Michael

    As the son and brother to firefighters, I know the effect on the family and career when one is hurt on the job. My uncle was killed in NYC as a NY Firefighter in the early 90s, the guy who lite the fire walked… but he at least went to trial. The facts are these: 1) There was a fire lite with the intent to cause damage. 2) There was fire safety plan in place. 3) There were no permits filed, or attempted to be filed. 4) A person was injured at the scene of the fire lite illegally, not just a person, a firefighter.

    In the audio you can hear them ask, “does this constitute arson?” They knew they were doing wrong. They almost killed someone.

    If you dont pursue charges I’m going to find a way to remove you from office you crooked bitch.

  42. sara

    I know you guys will be saying thats 47 minutes of my life i will not be getting back but you guys must watch the video.

    What is funny is MJ is really trying to gloss over this stunt. His fanPAGE downplays this stunt not as a stunt but rather a demonstration of how the economic times can push people out of their homes and into their vehicles to fry turkeys inside their vehicles and why you should not do this. In fact it was 23 minutes into this stunt before anything was said about “do not do this in your vehicle” and then it was just that, I would of FAILED speech for a demonstration like that! The page also conveys that MJ didnt want to “bother” the fire department, – i think the oh crap, i didnt get the right permits in his voice construded otherwise. It also states that MJ had 10 fire extinguishers there (to show he did infact have the proper equimpment) the video not only shows 4 but when the topic of how are we going to put this out MJ responded what do we do, round up people to go inside and get fire extinguishers. If it was indeed just to show for a demonstration then if indeed someone would be dumb enough to cook in a van, who would drop it in through a hole in the roof. Fester also notifies MJ that he has modified the cooking element for more fire. The stunt was continuely called TURKEY FRYER FIRE, hhhmmm FIRE right there in the title not TURKEY FRYER DEMO… Altough MJ has played this stunt off as the reason for firing FESTER it turns out his contract was up and the father company said MJ had to let someone go before the inncident. I love to find the show where he says something like i dont need no stinking permits…

    Next time will it be someone you love that gets hurt or maybe this time killed?

    As far as him tieing up the police resources for other bs, this is a man who (as gay as this is) could afford a body guard for him and his family. I dont know the law of window tinting in the area but tint the windows as dark as he could get them. If he was indeed afraid for his life and afraid everyone was out to get him there is so much more he could do to take actions of prevention. I wish that people in the area that actually need the police would rise up and and let the law enforcement know that constant use of the resources have landed people in jail, and how much the resources are actually needed for real crimes.

  43. Joe Harvey

    Mr. Ober,

    I am writing you concerning the stunt that DJ M.J. Kelley did frying a frozen turkey in hot oil and catching a van on fire. This caused fireman to be taken from real emergencies and also caused an injury to one fireman. I have heard clips from him on the air before and he stated that he didn’t need permits to do any stunts, that he would just call 911. As a previous dispatcher of a fire department I know how important fireman are what an asset to the community they are. I feel that M.J. Kelley should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for this irresponsible act. Thank you for your consideration with this matter.

    Joe Harvey

  44. Frank Esposito

    State Attorney Mark Ober
    Thirteenth Judicial District
    Tampa, Fl, 33602

    Mr. Ober,
    I don’t know how you handle things in Tampa, FL, but why a case has not been filed for arson
    against Mr. Shnitt where a firefighter was injured is unfathomable.

    Am I to understand that Mr. Shnitt’s wife and you may be acquainted. That would not be a
    reason not to prosecute someone would it?

    I look forward to seeing a prosecutor with guts step up to the plate and prosecute a man who
    thinks he is above the laws of your state.

    Thanks for your time,
    Frank Esposito
    Frank E’s Bail Bonds
    (800) 721-2245

  45. Michael C

    Mark A. Ober
    State Attorney – Thirteenth Judicial Circuit

    Dear Mr. Ober,

    I understand Todd Schnitt aka Clear Channel DJ “MJ Kelly” demonstrated contempt for Florida burn/arson and potentially assault laws via a dangerous video taped radio stunt. I hear reports Mr. Schnitt scoffed at the suggestion of a burn permit. Furthermore, Mr. Schnitt’s juvenile actions, without proper adult, expert supervision, potentially endangered the lives of fellow Floridians. Finally, Mr. Schnitt’s actions and contempt, metaphorically reflects his low opinion of your office, considering his lack of respect for Florida’s first responders; fire fighters and police officers are not toys.

    While I believe in personal forgiveness, consequences are necessary for proper growth and maturity. Someone was injured due to Mr. Schnitt’s actions. I do not think Mr. Schnitt asked forgiveness or made amends, nor do I believe Mr. Schnitt experienced consequences. Does someone have to be permanently lamed or killed for you to act?

    You should be ashamed, if your office has neglected proper charges due to political connections or personal relations. If true, I suggest you will answer to a Higher Authority, either in this life or the one to follow. Whether or not you believe, God entrusted you with public office to serve, not defile the public. I recommend prayerful reconsideration of your position and appropriate action to clear your conscience and justify the people you serve.

    Thank you very much for your time.

  46. D


  47. Five Star

    This is what I sent:

    As a mother, who recently had a 13 year old son, burn his hand trying to imitate a stunt shown on reality television, I was appalled and outraged to hear the actions of the MJ morning show. I was listening to his program with my son and 7 year old daughter at the time and I could not believe that someone would intentionally set a fire for fun when he knows so many kids are listening to his show (his show primarily appeals to young teenagers). As they laughed and made jokes, I was horrified that my kids were subjected to an act of arson on the radio for “fun.” My son thought it was cool and I caught him searching the Internet that night for the video. After hearing the reports that their were no permits and a Tampa firefighter was injured I was amazed that he was not incarcerated immediately. I now have to watch my son like a hawk because of this act and who knows what else this maniac is capable of. Celebrities should not be given special treatment in our community (let alone Hollywood). It sends the wrong message to our youth and encourages bad behavior. I know you are not in charge of radio licenses but at least prosecute this individual as if he was “John Doe” who burned his van on purpose and injured a firefighter in the process. I know you will do the right thing.

  48. Jackie Martling

    Here is another one:

    After hearing the stunt live on the air by the MJ morning show and the aftermath that followed, I can not believe this man is walking free today. My brother is a firefighter out of the Kansas City area and he burned a third of his body from a trailer fire involving kids playing with fire. He had to leave the career he loved because of some kids just having some “fun.” I know there are a lot of kids who listen to this show and these shock jocks can not get away with this behavior. As silly as it sounds because we are adults but these kids are influenced by these radio djs. We must prevent this from going over our airwaves. I love Tampa, Fl. Lets not let a guy like this poison our youth. Treat him like any other citizen and prosecute him to the fullest.

    James Powers

  49. Fivestar

    As a mother, who recently had a 13 year old son, burn his hand trying to imitate a stunt shown on reality television, I was appalled and outraged to hear the actions of the MJ morning show. I was listening to his program with my son and 7 year old daughter at the time and I could not believe that someone would intentionally set a fire for fun when he knows so many kids are listening to his show (his show primarily appeals to young teenagers). As they laughed and made jokes, I was horrified that my kids were subjected to an act of arson on the radio for “fun.” My son thought it was cool and I caught him searching the Internet that night for the video. After hearing the reports that their were no permits and a Tampa firefighter was injured I was amazed that he was not incarcerated immediately. I now have to watch my son like a hawk because of this act and who knows what else this maniac is capable of. Celebrities should not be given special treatment in our community (let alone Hollywood). It sends the wrong message to our youth and encourages bad behavior. I know you are not in charge of radio licenses but at least prosecute this individual as if he was “John Doe” who burned his van on purpose and injured a firefighter in the process. I know you will do the right thing.

  50. Tyson

    Make an example of this M.J character as Bubba has been made an example of in the past!!

    Tyson, Alberta Canada

  51. Theresa

    Dear Elected Official, Mark Ober:

    Your choice to not prosecute Todd Schnitt of the MJ Morning Show for the turkey fryer fire stunt is a slap in the face to our First Responders as well as anyone who elected you into office. Decisions like these that you and your office chose to make on a regular basis are an embarrassment to the Florida public and all elected officials!!!

    Todd Schnitt, regardless of the fact that his wife previously worked for your office, should be held accountable for his NEGLIGENT actions as would any other individual in the State of Florida who showed such willful disregard for the law not to mention the safety of the fine Firefighters and Police Officers of our state. Todd Schnitt, MJ Kelly, could be heard on the radio laughing while the fire started and instructing his staff to let it burn. He also made comments about how “he” doesn’t need permits. Plus the fact that after the van had already caught on fire he still gave the order to have the turkey dropped in the hot grease which totally engulfed the van in flames. You have visual and audio proof of this unlawful act. What more does your office need to hold this individual accountable for his actions??? Obviously Todd Schnitt feels he can do whatever he pleases because of the “relationship” he has with your office. By not prosecuting him you are only reinforcing the fact that you don’t prosecute “your friends”. Why enforce other individuals, companies, etc. pulling permits and getting permission to do things when you are not going to enforce the law fairly and consistently as is required by the elected office that you hold.

    Your office needs to reconsider this decision and make the correct choice.

    Florida Voter

  52. Brad

    To: State Attorney Mark Ober

    I heard about the dangerous and immature stunt pulled by DJ MJ Kelley. Burning up a motor vehicle knowing in advance that it was going to be a fire large enough in nature to require the Fire Department to be called to extinguish it; this seems to be a misuse of emergency services along the lines of Balloon Dad. This stunt was perpetrated without regard for the fact that it would pull emergency service from people who actually needed them and add to that that someone was hurt due to Kelley’s neglect; how can he not be punished to the fullest extent of the law? Some people have inferred that the reason Kelley may not be prosecuted is due to the fact that he and his family have friends in the DA’s office. I sincerely hope that is not true. As a taxpaying citizen I want to believe that you are representing the people and upholding the law and not cutting favors to friends.

  53. paul

    Mr. Ober
    Would the shoe be on the other foot had this stunt HURT your Son or Daughter ???
    How fast would you have been to press charges on Mr Todd Shnit .
    Favoritism should not be a factor or who is representing Mr shnit should not be a factor but as we can see by your actions in this case they are factors very large factors.
    I do hope that if some day I should have the unfortunate luck to have to face you in a court of law you will give me the same good-o boy slap on the back and let me off . My re-election donation is in the mail.

    THANK YOU for keeping us SAFE I’m sure the First Responders Thank You

    James S Nasium

  54. Larry Ciullo

    If Maork Ober decides not to prosecute, there’s always the next step:

    The Attorney General’s Office assists the Florida Commission on Ethics by providing attorneys who serve as the Commission’s prosecutors or “Advocates.” Once the Commission has received and investigated a sworn Complaint alleging that a public officer or employee has breached the public trust, the Advocate assigned to the case makes a recommendation as to whether the case should go forward. If it does, it is the Advocate who conducts the prosecution, through an administrative hearing under Chapter 120. Advocates also handle some appeals, and collect civil penalties when a violation is found.
    Most state and local government employees, as well as elected and appointed officials, are subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction, and the types of violations investigated range from erroneous financial disclosure filings to misuse of office. Information about the Ethics Commission, as well as formal opinions, orders, and forms, can be found at their web site at or by calling the Commission at (850) 488-7864.

    For more information on this bureau, please call 850-414-3300

  55. Larry Ciullo

    Dear Mr. Ober,

    It is public knowledge that Todd Schnitt aka. Radio Personality MJ Kelly has deliberately and unlawfully set fire to a “pre-staged” vehicle for entertainment purposes which required a 911 call and First Responders to be dispatched to the scene to extinguish said vehicle. There was collateral damage causing a Fire Fighter to be injured and highly toxic pollutants by OSHA standards were released into the air from the vehicle ultimately being inhaled by unwilling victims of this radio stunt. I understand that you are considering not charging him with a violation of state fire codes or arson. Mr. Schnitt has a history of not acquiring permits for these stunts and is on written record and audio record stating publicly that “he doesn’t needs to pull permits for these fire related atrocities, inferring that he is above the law.

    I understand Todd Schnitt’s wife Attorney Michelle Schnitt has been staffed by the judicial system in Hillsboro and Pinellas County. Any appearances that there has been favortism given on behalf of Todd Schnitt’s wife because of said ties to the judicial system in Hillsboro and Pinellas County will be detrimental to upholding the law and sets precedence for future fire related stunts.

    Please don’t set precedence for the people by failing to charge Todd Schnitt appropriately and allowing a jury of his peers to decide his fate. This crime may have caused irreprable harm not yet known to bystanders inhaling toxic fumes by this stunt, The next time may cause a death, and unfortunately the defending attorney will cite this crime as a reason for their client not to be charged! Do not breach the publics trust, Follow the ethics in which your office is sworn to uphold and follow the Law! That’s all the public asks.


    Larry L. Ciullo

  56. kevin tucker

    WHAT if the firefighter that got hurt was one of your loved ones or a close friend? WHAT if a loved one or friend was in a wreck and needed the fire dept there or your house was on fire and needed them there? WHAT happenes now that the fire dept goes out now and could of saved someones life ONLY if they were not 1 man short because of this! you know it could happen even to you!anybody else you would charge them(DO THE RIGHT THING)

  57. Cold cash

    Bubba i sent Mark a nice e mail letting him know the good ol boy network goes both ways and I am a large fund raser for Charlie o yea also very close with FDLE this is so crazy for Mark to stick is neck out like this. It will be in the news.

  58. Tim C.

    Dear Mark Ober,
    It has come to my attention that Todd Schnitt, aka “MJ Kelly”, performed a stunt involving a turkey that caused a large fire and even injured a firefighter. It has also came to my attention that you may not file arson charges against this person. Is this true? If it is, I promise that it will be the biggest error of your career. By not charging this man with arson, and showing that the state of Florida is serious, you are telling the entire state and country two thing. First, that it is okay to set fires and have fun, you will only get a slap on the wrist. Second, you are telling the entire United States that you, Mr. Ober, do not care about the men and women who fight fires. By not charging MJ with arson, you are destroying your image. Let me promise that if you do in fact charge him with arson, you will be seen as a hero. Thank you for your time, and please, do the right thing and charge Todd Schnitt, aka “MJ Kelly”, with arson.

  59. roy yates

    is m.j. above the law ,i dont think so..ARSON IS A CRIME PROSECUTE HIM..

  60. steve

    I am glad this guy is not a prosecuter in my town.There would be no telling what the crime rate would be,sounds like all you need is money to do what you want and be above the law

  61. DennisM

    I have sent an e-mail regarding the PSA about cooking you turkey in a van. That is BS. If this is let go with no repurcations what will he do next time and someone is badly hurt because of his stupidness.

    Fan from Buffalo

  62. Concerned Citizen

    Mr. Ober, it has come to my attention that the radio stunt Mr. Todd Shnitt not only attemped but accomplished, Injured one of the fire rescue firemen, and did not attempt to or pull the proper permits. This is a total disregard for the law you have been sworn to uphold. I ask you sir why has Mr. Shnitt not been charged with 1 ST. degree arson and forced to pay for the police and fire departments time and rescue efforts. To put firemen in danger with a childish stunt should not be tolerated. The implied connection that his wife my have or his neighbor makes things seem like the law does not apply to him, for which is the only reason I can see why he has not been charged. This is one of the things wrong with our system, people are not being held accountable for there actions. If you have a conflict of interest in this situation I would hope you step aside and appoint someone to do what is right. Mr. Shnitt should be charged and prosecuted for 1 ST. degree arson. As a elected offical I hope you make the correct decision, for taxpayers of hillsborough county will not forget this if it is SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. Maybe sir you should relook at the employment guidelines on the state attorney employment application. Importantly #9 Role Of The State Attorney.

  63. Otto L

    I hope that after all things are said and done Mr Ober can prove he won’t be part of an “good o’l buddy network” where money, influence, fame and power are all what you need to get out of trouble.

    Do the right thing Mr Ober and make an example out of this person. I am new to the Tampa area but this case reminds me of one up in VA where the person that committed the crime was a tv personality and in the end nothing happened.

    We as citizens are watching closely more and more everyday.

  64. Gimmeabreak

    Mr. Ober. What’s more important, the safety of a fire fighter or avoiding the good ole boy network to protect a morning dj?? Do the right thing. As a taxpayer I have no problem paying for this one. You may or may not run for an elected position in the future. The voters will remember your actions.

  65. Bill Trudelle

    Mark Ober the 13th Circuit has had too many problems for too many years. The law does not work to empower right and deter wrong; here in the 13th circuit it is for the rich to harm the unconnected. Mark Ober has a verifiable history of fixing court cases. His office removes evidence front eh record, lawyers steal cars from clients, stalk and threaten their clients, use mobster protectionist tactics to extort money, and the base of the greatest mortgage fraud scheme has been on going at Florida Default for years perpetrated by Mark Obers friend and Alumni Michael Echevarria these verifiable facts are published at and

  66. Mauricio Flores

    Mark, please hand bubba his ass in court.

  67. Troy conley

    Dear Mr Ober

    I has come to my attention that you are thinking about not prosecuting Todd Schnitt for knowingly putting a frozen turkey into a deep fryer set in a van with the van catching on fire causing a firefighter to be hurt in the process. Are you kidding me. You wanted to prosecute Bubba for the castration of a hog on air.Which that in itself was not a big deal.My father was a firefighter for 34 yrs and I think that you not prosecuting this dj wanna be for arson is slap in the face for all first responders that have put their lives in harms way for stupid stuff like this. Mj kelley should be prosecuted to teach him a lesson

  68. John Lynard

    Hey Mark if you’ve got a second from sleeping with your employee Carol…I have personally gone through your so called “justice” system and I know the game you play. You held me in jail for a crime I didn’t commit and let me out a year later without even an apology. Why don’t you crack down on some real criminals and charge arson for how it should be charged? You all in Hillsborough county are all a corrupt network of good ole boys that need to be fired and start all over again with moral beings of conscious. Stop catering to the ‘elite’ and sleeping with Carol and get some real work done.

  69. Randall Townsend

    Mr. Ober for many years ignored my facts and refuses to talk! He even knowingly assists in the criminal felonies I have reported to Deputies and FDLE for years! He needs to be prosecuted as an accomplice in many felonies in corruption with HCSO and the judges!!! Read my web site at Also review the cases he has fixed! Abduction of kids is a serious crime he ignores!

  70. Travis V

    Simply put, MJ’s and Mark Ober’s moms should have *********.

  71. taylor

    Money,if you got it you get away with murder.Way to go SA

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