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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State officials refuse to do dirty work for Tarpon Springs mayoral candidate



Despite a formal complaint filed by the staff of Tarpon Springs mayoral candidate Chris Alahouzos against opponent Frank DiDonato for an alleged Sunshine Law violation in 2001, state officials say there will be no investigation into the matter.

Why? For starters, it was filed with the wrong entity.

"Our office did receive the complaint... However, our office does not have authority over this matter," Kylie Mason, press secretary to Attorney General Pam Bondi, said in an email Wednesday. "The State Attorney's Office has jurisdiction over the investigation and prosecution of Sunshine Law violations."

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe said Thursday if the complaint eventually makes its way to his office, he simply won't respond to it.

"You really need to have jurisdiction to do anything, and if statute of limitations has run out, then really jurisdiction has, too," he said. "So at this point all we would essentially be doing is someone's campaign dirty work, so I won't do anything."

Mason said because Sunshine Law violations are second degree misdemeanors, complaints would have needed to be filed within one year of the alleged violations.

So it seems Alahouzos missed the boat by about 14 years.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2016 2:54pm]


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