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Former Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin White reports to prison

Kevin White is back in Atlanta.

The former Hillsborough County Commissioner reported to a minimum-security prison camp in Atlanta on Wednesday to begin serving a three-year sentence on federal bribery and corruption charges.

A U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman confirmed that White, 47, surrendered at about noon.

In a sense, White's political downfall has come full circle. It was in Atlanta in 2007 where White made a sexual advance on his 22-year-old aide after luring her to that city on a business trip, the woman later said. Alyssa Ogden said White fired her after she refused the advances, and a jury later agreed.

But that incident was just a prelude to far more serious allegations to come in 2011. That's when federal prosecutors indicted White for taking bribes for his influence helping tow company operators get permits.

He was convicted in November and sentenced in March.

The prison camp, intended for nonviolent inmates who do not pose a security risk, is on the grounds of a federal penitentiary. But unlike inmates in the medium-security prison, those assigned to the camp sleep in an open bay and not in individual cells with bars, said Chris Burke, a spokesman for BOP.

Security is not as intense at the camp as in the prison, he said, with fewer metal detectors and a higher staff-to-inmate ratio.

White's attorney, Grady Irvin Jr., had asked the judge in the case to recommend that White serve his time in the camp because, as a former Tampa police officer, White might be at risk from violent inmates. The judge did so.

White traveled to Atlanta from his Riverview home with several close family members, said Irvin. He declined to say whether they included White's wife and two children. Irvin said White was in a good frame of mind.

A jury convicted White in November on seven charges that included wire fraud, bribery and lying to the FBI. Prosecutors said White directly accepted at least $6,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman seeking White's influence on the Public Transportation Commission, which he chaired.

William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3432.

Former Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin White reports to prison 05/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00am]
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