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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Jim Norman: USF's unlikely hero



ot_350278_wall_usf_4.jpgState Sen. Jim Norman sat hunched at his desk, reviewing spreadsheets and crunching numbers, trying to save the University of South Florida from outsized budget cuts.

In his office lobby, the phone was ringing. Emails sailed in.

"I'm really proud to live in your district," wrote one constituent. "Go for it, Jim," said another.

Days later, students watching the session's budget debate silently pumped their fists as Norman talked about the importance of "making USF whole."

Yes, we're talking about that Jim Norman — the former Hillsborough County commissioner who just signed an admission of guilt after the state ethics commission said he should have disclosed a half-million dollar gift to his wife from a prominent businessman. The man who once was the subject of a federal investigation related to that gift, faced questions about his $95,000 job at the Salvation Army and was almost booted off the ballot for state Senate.

That Jim Norman, helped save USF.

Story here.

[Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2012 4:16pm]


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