WPTV Won’t Say Why They Fired Gay Weatherman Rob Lopicola in 2006, Rumors Abound
Ever since the story broke that former weatherman Rob Lopicola was arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with two teenage boys, his former employer WPTV-Channel 5 News has been aggressively pursuing the story.
They’ve pulled no punches covering their former employee. But when SFGN inquired about why Lopicola was forced to resign from the station in 2006, they became close mouthed.
“I wasn’t around when Rob was. I didn’t know the guy,” said general manager of WPTV Steve Wasserman. But when SFGN asked to speak to someone who was around at the time he said: “We don’t talk about personnel issues.”
Lopicola abruptly left the television station under mysterious circumstances in 2006. There was no grand send off, parties or cakes. Instead, Lopicola, who achieved local celebrity status while covering several major hurricanes in South Florida, was quietly dismissed — after being with the station for 8 years.
Lopicola told SFGN two weeks ago that nude photos had surfaced and he was forced to resign. Another rumor says the station became aware of a profile he had on Adam4Adam.com, a popular gay dating/sex website. At the time, Lopicola said he was leaving the station to “pursue other opportunities.”
That was six years ago. Why does it matter now? Because, according to yet other rumors, it was his interest in young men that got him fired — much like his alleged interest in teenage boys that got him arrested Monday.
One source at Boardwalk Bar, where Lopicola worked as a dance manager when he was arrested, Lopicola told him: “I made one big mistake that ruined it all and got me fired.”
While Justice Royale, a former employee at Boardwalk, said she was shocked to learn of Lopicola’s arrest. But not because he wasn’t capable of doing it.
“I knew he had some sort of incident in the past when he was still a weatherman,” she said. “I figured he had learned from his past so I was actually shocked.”
In 2009, Lopicola got caught up in another WPTV investigation and the Palm Beach Post wrote this story “Whatever happened to Rob Lopicola?”
What’s notable is, in the comments section, several people commented on his departure from WPTV. This is what one person had to say:
Comment by thomas — October 20, 2009 @ 8:35 pm
I have a friend who was very close to Rob. Rob was into child porn and young boys. He got busted by channel 5 for using the computer at work to view inappropriate pics of young boys and chat. Anybody who justifies this by defending him is an idiot. “He’s such a nice guy”! Of course he is. Would you let this “nice guy” babysit your child? Didn’t think so.
Another commenter notes, “he is a lying cheating sleeze ball that should be in jail for underage porn.”
Whatever Lopicola’s true history with WPTV is will remain under wraps for now.
The television station is known for its in-depth investigations, and asking the right questions, but it appears not so good at answering them.