Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Federal bribery case against Tampa towing company owner dismissed

TAMPA — A federal judge Thursday dismissed the bribery case against an accused co-conspirator of former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White, agreeing that the towing company owner was not competent to stand trial.

The ruling, made at the government's request, came a day before attorneys were scheduled to meet to discuss the mental state of George Hondrellis.

Hondrellis, the owner of Tampa City Towing, was accused in 2011 after a federal investigation of initiating bribery discussions with White's father for influence on the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission while White served as its chairman.

Hondrellis faced charges that included bribery, wire and mail fraud and conspiracy.

But he had been found mentally incompetent to go to trial. In late 2011, a magistrate judge said at a hearing that Hondrellis would receive medication and treatment at a Miami hospital.

In a court motion filed Thursday, U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill asked that the indictment against Hondrellis be dismissed without prejudice — leaving open the possibility that the case could be resurrected in the future.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore signed the order to close the case.

White was convicted on seven of 10 corruption charges for accepting $6,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent seeking his influence to obtain a towing license from the PTC. The former commissioner is serving a three-year federal prison sentence.

Federal bribery case against Tampa towing company owner dismissed 02/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas legislators talk governor's race, policy at delegation breakfast


    If anybody was expecting state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, to quit being coy and and announce his bid for the 2018 governor's race to the friendly crowd at Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual legislative delegation breakfast Wednesday, they left disappointed.

  2. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes


    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community for the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at DOT's Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Ave. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON | Times]
  3. Florida Orchestra and Tampa Bay Master Chorale scrap search for a joint conductor


    TAMPA — After a yearlong effort, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and the Florida Orchestra have abandoned their search for a conductor capable of leading both groups.

    Doreen Rao conducts a concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra in December 2010. Photo by Enid Bloch.
  4. New in theaters July 4 weekend: 'Despicable Me 3,' 'Baby Driver,' 'The House,' 'The Beguiled'


    OPENING Thursday:


    One of Hollywood's most successful animation franchises isn't about "me" anymore; it's about them.

    Gru (Steve Carell) squares off against Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) in Despicable Me 3.
  5. Uhurus cancel Baker protest


    Jesse Nevel's campaign had planned to stage an anti-Rick Baker protest outside the St. Petersburg Yacht Club this evening while Baker held a fundraiser inside.

    Now, that's not happening.

    Jesse Nevel's Uhuru-affiliated campaign postpones protest