Kevin White sexual discrimination saga to continue Wednesday
TAMPA -- Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White could have a new lawsuit on his hands -- from his own employer.
Fellow board member Rose Ferlita said Monday that she plans to ask commissioners to sue White in an effort to recoup some of the county's costs associated the recent sexual discrimination judgment against him. A federal jury awarded his former aide, Alyssa Ogden, $75,000 in damages in August after finding that he fired her for refusing White's multiple sexual advances.
Attorneys' fees in the case have pushed the cost of the trial to roughly $500,000. The county is exploring whether an insurance policy might cover some of the costs.
Ferlita has repeatedly asked White in past Commission meetings whether he will help pay some of the costs, but he has declined to answer. She has previously suggested suing him, but didn't get support from other board members. Now that the case is settled, Ferlita will ask commissioners again.
"My motion is that, now that the taxpayers have settled, I think we need to litigate to see if we can get any money back from him," Ferlita said. "I don't think we should leave any stone unturned."
White has indicated that he hopes to tap the same county insurance policy to cover some of his own lawyers' fees in the case. The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday's County Commission meeting.
-- Bill Varian, Times staff writer