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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sheriff''s investigation of Go Hillsborough contract to be released mid January

29

December

The highly-anticipated results of an investigation of the contract for Hillsborough County’s transportation initiative, Go Hillsborough, will be released by mid-January.

County Administrator Mike Merrill sent an email Tuesday to county commissioners and local mayors saying that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office had completed its investigation into a $1.35 million contract and “the final report is expected by mid-January.”

“The report will be presented to me as the original requestor of the investigation,” Merrill wrote. “I will immediately brief you and other members of the Policy Leadership Group and make the report available to the public.”

The county’s contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff, a multinational engineering firm hired to conduct public outreach for the Go Hillsborough transportation referendum, came under attack in September amid questions that Parsons was awarded the deal because it hired influential public relations consultant Beth Leytham as a subcontractor. Merrill asked the sheriff’s office on Sept. 21 to determine whether any county or state laws were broken, or any ethics rules violated.

Members of the Hillsborough County Tea Party have previously said say that even if the sheriff clears the county of any wrongdoing, that probably won't assuage their growing list of concerns.

"I won't be satisfied if that's what happens," said tea party activist Ken Roberts. "I don't question (the sheriff's) personal integrity … but these people all work for the county, and I think it calls into question their ability to render an unbiased opinion."

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 8:08am]

    

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