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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

More on GOP money man's "unfit for human habitation" rentals



TAMPA — The dead body decomposed for two weeks inside an 84-square-foot apartment.

He died inside his cramped motel room, police said. Officers found garbage and clothes strewn about. The air reeked. The tenant was 70, dead of natural causes.

No one had seen him for days. Then the landlord told someone to go find him. The rent was due.

The landlord was Tampa Port Authority Chairman William A. "Hoe" Brown, a GOP State Committeeman and prominent Republican fundraiser for candidates ranging from Pam Bondi to Mel Martinez.

That February 2009 incident, revealed in police records, shows that problems at Brown's properties in Seminole Heights go back much farther than the chairman has said they do.

A inquiry Monday by the Tampa Bay Times led Brown to apologize and remove five squalid mobile homes he illegally rented behind his property management office at 106 W Stanley St.

Earlier this week, Brown said he put them there late last year. When told police records show a trailer on the property before last year, he acknowledged Thursday night that one unit had been there since 2006.

Among the records proving tenants lived behind Brown's office well before last year was a 2006 domestic violence case in which a man punched his girlfriend, police said, in "the trailer ... located behind the house" at 106 W Stanley St.

Story here

[Last modified: Friday, July 12, 2013 6:48am]


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