Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Business

$1.2 million of Joy Culverhouse's jewelry 'surreptitiously sold' prior to her death, son says

TAMPA — More than $1 million worth of jewelry belonging to Joy Culverhouse, widow of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse Sr., was "surreptitiously sold" before her April 26 death, her son said at a court hearing Tuesday.

At the brief hearing, Hugh Culverhouse Jr. also said that there had been an agreement — he didn't say who made it — not to tell him and his sister anything about their 96-year-old mother in her final months.

But before Culverhouse could go much further, Judge Herbert Baumann reminded him that the sole purpose of the hearing was to accept Joy Culverhouse's will for probate and appoint a personal representative for her estate.

In the future, "you and your counsel are free to file whatever you desire for the court to" consider, the judge told him.

Culverhouse and his sister, Gay Culverhouse, have refused to release their mother's body for cremation or burial until her attorney, Robert Waltuch, allows an autopsy and turns over her medical records. That issue wasn't addressed Tuesday, and the body remains in a Tampa funeral home two weeks after she died.

Previous coverage: Children of former Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse refuse to release mother's body as family feuds

In a court filing, Culverhouse said he had "real concerns" about his mother's medical treatment and intellectual capacity in her final years, noting that she abused alcohol and had "several episodes" that required hospitalization and commitment to a mental health facility.

Because Joy Culverhouse appeared to have been incapable of protecting her interests, the filing said, there had been "several questionable transactions'' including loans to Waltuch and her grandson, Christopher Chapman, from a mortgage company owned by one of her trusts. Chapman — he is Gay Culverhouse's son — also appeared to have used money derived from his grandmother's assets to invest in a film company, the filing said.

"(Hugh Culverhouse Jr.) believes that Mr. Waltuch, Mr. Chapman and others may have engaged in other transactions that were not in accordance with Mrs. Culverhouse's best interests and which constitute impermissible self-dealing," the filing said.

Joy Culverhouse, who lived in a Tampa condo, gave Chapman power of attorney in 2011 to handle her affairs, court records show. Chapman has a home in Tampa. Hugh Jr., a lawyer and developer, lives in South Florida and her daughter, a former college president, lives in Fernandina Beach.

In court Tuesday, Hugh Culverhouse Jr. said he has seen "monies flow rapidly" out of his mother's assets and that $1.2 million to $1.3 million of her jewelry had been sold "out of state."

But the judge cut him off before he could go into more detail and adjourned the hearing after accepting the will and appointing Waltuch as personal representative of the estate.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

Comments
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shrinking supply of Tampa Bay condos and townhomes drives up prices

Shrinking supply of Tampa Bay condos and townhomes drives up prices

Sales of condos and townhomes in the Tampa Bay area jumped 9.5 percent in March, hitting a median of $156,000. The price gain was prompted in part by a supply shortage, with sales down 7.5 percent amid a dwindling inventory. Statewide, sales also lag...
Published: 04/25/18
Against neighborhood and city staff wishes, Clearwater Council greenlights storage facility

Against neighborhood and city staff wishes, Clearwater Council greenlights storage facility

CLEARWATER — Skycrest residents showed up to City Hall recently and begged elected officials not to let a developer knock down an aging office building in their neighborhood and build a storage facility in its place.Planning and Development Director ...
Published: 04/25/18
Three artists picked to create art for St. Pete’s new pier

Three artists picked to create art for St. Pete’s new pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Pelicans will return to the pier in fanciful form.A California artist has been selected to create an enormous, red origami sculpture of a pelican that will serve as a metal perch for three more lifelike, but no less fanciful, imitati...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Career Q&A: Disillusioned with grind of telecommute

Career Q&A: Disillusioned with grind of telecommute

Q: I have become very disillusioned with my telecommuting job. I accepted this position about a year ago because I liked the idea of working from home. However, I now have so many assignments that I can barely keep up. I was recently given a huge pro...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

DUNEDIN — The Pinellas County Commission pulled the final trigger Tuesday on dedicating $41.7 million in bed taxes for upgrades to the Toronto Blue Jays’ stadium and spring training facilities, a pledge that amounts to covering more than half of the ...
Published: 04/24/18
Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida small business owners say their top concern is a lack of skilled workers, according to a recent survey by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Workforce quality has been a recurring issue for small businesses, according to previous surveys. In th...
Published: 04/24/18
Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

TAMPA — The world’s biggest hotel company already has 29 properties in the Tampa Bay area, but its CEO says a plan to put more than 1,400 rooms in three Marriott-branded hotels within a few blocks of each other says something about how Tampa is evolv...
Published: 04/24/18
Study ranks Florida No. 8 for most aggressive drivers

Study ranks Florida No. 8 for most aggressive drivers

If you’ve ever complained about other motorists on the road, you may have been justified. The Sunshine State ranked No. 8 on GasBuddy.com’s list of states with the most aggressive drivers."Our findings indicate that states with densely populated citi...
Published: 04/24/18
First curbside delivery, now Amazon leaves packages with no one in the car

First curbside delivery, now Amazon leaves packages with no one in the car

Amazon is taking the growing curb-side delivery trend a step further — now shoppers don’t even have to be inside their cars to get their items.The online retailer announced Tuesday it has begun delivering packages to newer cars with OnStar service in...
Published: 04/24/18