Top GOP fundraiser, state committeeman, port chairman is slumlord
TAMPA -- William A. "Hoe" Brown, chairman of the Tampa Port Authority and prominent Republican fundraiser, has been running an illegal rental property that Tampa's code enforcement director calls "deplorable" and "not fit for human habitation."
"It was shocking. People shouldn't have to live like that," said Jake Slater, Tampa's Neighborhood Empowerment Administrator and former police officer, who termed the squalor on Brown's property among the worst he has ever seen.
Slater visited the property Monday and his staff returned Tuesday morning, informing tenants that the city had determined their homes, in subdivided single-wide trailers Brown admits he illegally placed last year behind his business office at 106 W Stanley St. in Seminole Heights, were unfit for habitation.
Code staff offered to connect tenants with social service agencies, But Brown instead decided to reimburse the seven tenants — who range in age from 4 to the upper 60s — hundreds of dollars in back rent and drive them to local motels....