St. Petersburg mayoral hopeful Deveron Gibbons quits local boards to focus on campaign
ST. PETERSBURG-- Corporate executive Deveron Gibbons has quit six local boards to focus on his campaign for mayor.
Campaign manager Nick Hansen said Gibbons dropped all of his civic commitments except for his role as chairman of the St. Petersburg College board of trustees.
Gov. Charlie Crist last month chose not to reappoint Gibbons to the Pinellas County Housing Authority.
About a week later, Gibbons submitted letters of resignation to the following boards: WorkNet Pinellas, St. Petersburg Housing Authority, Pinellas County's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast corporate board of directors, Pinellas County Economic Development Council and the board of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Meanwhile, the developer and landowner tied to a controversial project being pushed by the St. Petersburg and Pinellas housing authorities are among the more than 500 supporters who donated to Gibbons' mayoral campaign.
Johnathan Stanton, chief executive officer of New Advantage Corp., gave Gibbons $500. His company gave Gibbons another $500.
Stanton is selling the county and city housing authorities land to build a new central office. His former company, Lema Construction, is slated to build the project. The $3.7 million project was not put out for bid.
Lema Construction, now run by John VonHof, also gave Gibbons $500.
Gibbons advocated the land deal as a board member of both the St. Petersburg and Pinellas housing authorities. Opponents say the deal will make it difficult for the two boards to operate independently.
Hansen said Gibbons and Stanton have been friends since high school.
UPDATE: Stanton, Lema and New Advantage Corp. all also contributed $500 each to Bill Foster's mayoral campaign, records show. Stanton also contributed $500 to Scott Wagman's campaign.
Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer