Court dismisses petition against Commissioner Victor Crist over rideshare spat
TAMPA — An appellate court on Tuesday dismissed a motion seeking to remove Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist from his position as Public Transportation Commission chairman.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal dismissed without prejudice a petition against Crist, meaning the case could be brought back to court although that may be unlikely. It declined to issue an opinion on the matter.
The petition was filed by the Tampa Taxi Coalition, Red Top Cab Company and West Coast Transportation Services, who have been angered by Crist’s leading role in negotiating with rideshare firms like Uber to draw up new regulations to allow them to operate legally in Hillsborough County
The petition claimed that Crist has a conflict of interest because his wife, Angela Crist, works at the University of South Florida as the director of the John Scott Dailey Institute of Government.
It included affidavits that cab company employees heard Crist say his wife needs the good will of state legislators like state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg to get state grants. Brandes is a strong supporter of the rideshare business model.
The same complaint has been filed against Crist with the Florida Commission on Ethics. He has said the complaint is without merit and expects the commission will throw it out.