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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]
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