Make us your home page
Instagram

Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce fires president after arrest, discovery of past charges

PINELLAS PARK — The president of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce was arrested Friday.

The charge was minor — driving with a suspended or revoked license — but the incident was only the latest in a line of arrests that date to at least 1995 when Kenneth Wayne Brown faced the more serious charge of larceny/grand theft.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show, in the intervening years, accusations of other wrongdoing, including bounced checks and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. State driving records show that Brown, 51, also has multiple offenses on his driving record, including speeding, failure to pay fines and other incidences of driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was declared a habitual traffic offender in 2007.

Brown did not return a phone message Tuesday seeking comment.

"It's sad and it's unfortunate," said Housh Ghovaee, chairman of the chamber board. "It's a shame that this happened."

Ghovaee said chamber members had not checked into Brown's background.

"He had worked with the Clearwater chamber for a few years," Ghovaee said. "For us, that was certainly an important and a strong background."

Ghovaee said he found out about Brown's latest arrest Monday. He and another board member met with him and, at first, were not terribly concerned because they thought it was just a traffic issue. Then Tuesday, they found out Brown had more serious charges on his record. Ghovaee said the chamber has let Brown go and will search for a new president/CEO. Brown had worked for the Pinellas Park chamber since last June or July. It is unclear what his salary was.

The circumstances surrounding Brown's latest arrest were unavailable. But the history of Brown's encounter with law enforcement began in Monroe County, where he was charged with larceny/grand theft in 1995, according to FDLE records. Brown pleaded guilty but adjudication was withheld.

In 1996, a charge of fraud for a check issued for insufficient funds was not prosecuted. And he was charged in November 2008 with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and narcotic equipment. He pleaded no contest and adjudication was withheld.

Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce fires president after arrest, discovery of past charges 04/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 5:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  2. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  3. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week

    Blogs

    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  4. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma

    Business

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]