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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fed Up With Fed Up With Farkas

The Florida Elections Commission has found probable cause to charge a Democratic former St. Petersburg political operative with 40 counts of election law violations. Peter Schorsch, who created a a now defunct political committee called Take Back Tampa Bay and a website ( bashing state Rep. Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, potentially faces fines of more than $60,000.

A state investigator pursuing a complaint by Farkas (for whom Schorsch worked early in his career) concluded that Schorsch did everything from certify false campaign reports showing no political activity to accept illegally large contributions ($5,000 from trial lawyer Larry Beltz) to fail to report contributions to spend money without adequate funds in the committee's account.

Schorsch, who did not immediately respond for comment, has 30 days to decide whether he wants a hearing before the elections commission or an administrative judge or whether he wants to reach a settlement. His political consulting career ended late last year amid bad check charges and allegations that he stiffed clients.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:03pm]


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