Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

Ray Fetcho is a Licensed Practical Nurse, and has been working as a nurse for the last forty years. Ray Fetcho is, or was, also known as Tiny Tina, a drag queen who entertained the folks in and around Florida for many many years. But, in 1976, while hosting a ‘Wet Jockey Shorts Night’ he was arrested for promoting a lewd act; you know, wet undies on men. And now, that 34-year-old arrest has come back on him.

The state has told him he can no longer be a nurse because of the conviction.

Since 1995, Ray Fetcho has been a valued and honored employee at Victoria Villa, an assisted living facility in Davie, Florida,recognized for his “compassionate service to the elderly.” But last week, Ray Fetcho was fired from that job when the Agency for Health Care Administration determined he could not work as a nurse “because of the lewd act conviction” from the 1970s.

When Tiny Tina performed at The Copa, in the 70s and *0s, it was the hottest spot north of Havana, or at least in South Florida. It was an internationally known, and served as a kind of 'coming out’ venue for the local gay boys.

John Castelli, and his partner, the late Bill Bastiansen, owned the Copa, and today, he is a respected broker of Castelli and Associates in Wilton Manors. After being told of Fetcho’s predicament, Castelli said: "Oh my God! What century are we living in? It was such an innocent situation. The boys always wore briefs. No one was exposed. That was during the Anita Bryant era, a lifetime ago.”

Castelli and his partner were the ones who bailed Fetcho out of jail that night.

And now, his act, as Tiny Tina, and his actions that night, might forever cost him his nurse's license, unless he petitions and receives an exemption for his past misconduct. Without that, the Department of Health can stop him from working anywhere in the state as an LPN.

For his part, Fetcho, who has retained Fort Lau­derdale constitutional rights attorney Norm Kent, is upset and concerned about his future. “I love being a nurse and I love my job and I can’t believe this is coming back to haunt me 30 years later. It was stupid then. It is ridiculous now. I should be working up to my retirement in five years, not looking back at something from the past. I never mixed my two careers together. One was show business, one was real. I had the best of both possible worlds but if I have to fight today to help some other nurse tomorrow, they are going to have to fight ‘The Queen’ in her court.”

God Save The Queen.


robertga99 said...

You have got to be kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is ridiculous! I hope he gets a lawyer and takes this national...put those asshats in their place

Paul Benjamin said...

Oh Wow! I guess there's no such thing as second chances anymore, right? Even when you have tried to turn your life around! Doesn't age and maturity mean anything?

Stephen said...

What can we do to help him?

Anonymous said...

Taking away someone's means of earning a living because of a pair of wet panties 30 years ago is outrageous! Are these people crazy???

T.E.W. said...

Is this country lacking common sense or WHAT!

FDeF said...

It just never ends, this idiocy.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to take away someone's license to practice, why wait 30 years???? There must be more to this story. Clearly, something is rotten in state of Florida!!!!

Anonymous said...

As one of the Alzheimer patient's daughters living at Victoria Villa, I think that it is a sad situation when something as silly as wetting someone's briefs decades ago gets you fired over it. How come nothing is done about Wet T-Shirt contests when men are oggling women on display? Don't see them getting arrested for throwing water on them, do we?