Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando deputy accused of DUI will not be prosecuted

BROOKSVILLE — The State Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute a Hernando County sheriff's deputy charged with driving under the influence.

A lack of evidence and conflicting witness accounts about whether Deputy Joseph Tibor was impaired during a Jan. 12 traffic stop prompted the decision, Assistant State Attorney Will Hamilton said Tuesday.

"Several witnesses said the defendant smelled strongly of alcohol, performed poorly on field sobriety exercises and made admissions about consuming alcohol, but at the same time we had several witnesses who said he didn't smell like alcohol, that his performance on the field exercises was normal and that he didn't admit to consuming alcohol," Hamilton said. "The evidence wasn't there to have a substantial likelihood of conviction at jury trial."

Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. David Frye pulled over the white Mercedes sedan Tibor was driving on State Road 50 west of Brooksville about 9 p.m., an arrest report states. Frye clocked the Mercedes at 85 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Frye wrote that Tibor flashed his badge and had trouble finding his license in his wallet. A female passenger grabbed the wallet, took out the license and gave it to Frye. According to the report, Tibor initially denied drinking alcohol. But when Frye said he smelled an odor of alcohol on Tibor's breath and noted his glassy, bloodshot eyes, Tibor said, "Okay, well, I had maybe five drinks earlier."

Tibor, 45, was unsteady on his feet and failed sobriety exercises, the report states. He was placed under arrest for DUI and refused to give a breath sample at the Hernando County Detention Center.

Among those whose accounts conflicted with Frye's were Hernando Deputy Bryan Faulkingham and a civilian woman riding along with Faulkingham that night, Hamilton said.

"Her account was that (Tibor) didn't seem to be impaired, and she was surprised he was arrested," he said.

There is no video footage of the field sobriety exercises.

Tibor's attorney, Chip Mander of Dade City, called the decision "a wise choice based on what the independent witnesses had to say about the incident."

Tibor's license was suspended because he refused to take the breath test. He has an appeal hearing slated for Feb. 20.

Tibor will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that process, said sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Moloney. She said officials have not decided whether to conduct an internal affairs investigation.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — De’Nico Thomas, 14, isn’t a bad kid, police say, but he was the victim of a terrible shooting.Thomas had played video games with a friend Wednesday night and was likely bicycling home when someone fired a gun, critically wounding him in the a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEW — Jaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning, but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Chances are, I’ll go down as the Boy Who Cried Flood.You might have noticed, I’ve been shouting about the imminent calamity of flood waters for quite a few years now. If I wasn’t trying to frighten you into buying flood insurance, I was worrying you ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Delta bans pit bulls as service dogs, sparks backlash

Delta bans pit bulls as service dogs, sparks backlash

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines says it’s no longer allowing passengers to fly with "pit bull type" dogs as service or support animals, a policy that’s being met with criticism by groups that train service dogs and the people who use them.The Atlanta-based...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Updated: 3 hours ago