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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Labor agency investigate workforce group tied to Billiris petitions



CLEARWATER — The U.S. Department of Labor has launched an investigation of WorkNet Pinellas and the use of participants in a stimulus-funded program to collect petitions for a County Commission candidate.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that students participating in the nonprofit workforce agency's YouthBuild program collected petitions last Tuesday for Republican Beverley Billiris, the outgoing Tarpon Springs mayor, to make the ballot this year. The program received $700,000 last year from federal stimulus money allotted by the Labor Department.

"We are going to investigate this and take action. This is not an appropriate use of Recovery Act funds," according to a statement by the agency.

Billiris said the supervisor -- since fired -- told her it was approved. More of the story is here.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:28pm]


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