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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

On soliciting ban, Newton brothers think alike



St. Petersburg City Council member Wengay Newton says he is concerned about a new proposal to ban people from stopping on medians unless they are crossing the street.

"I see a problem with us using safety as a reason for doing this when firefighters are our public safety and they are collecting money for charities," said Newton.

That puts Newton on the same side as his brother, Winthrop Newton, president of the St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters, who plans to fight the ordinance. Winthrop Newton said firefighters should be allowed to continue their annual "Fill the Boot" campaigns for the Muscular Dystrophy Association along street medians.

City Attorney John Wolfe said it isn't a conflict of interest for Newton to vote against the measure, even if his brother publicly opposes it.

"There is no personal gain," Wolfe said.

-- Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:35am]


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