Bid to evict Brooksville activist Paul Boston called off temporarily

BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville activist Paul Boston learned this week that an attempt by the Brooksville Housing Authority to evict him from his government-subsidized apartment in Hillside Estates in July has been called off, at least for the time being.

Boston, who briefly sought a Brooksville City Council seat before being disqualified for non-residency status, said he discovered the eviction notice posted on the door of his apartment July 24. Unsigned, it read that the housing authority was terminating his lease a result of his recent felony arrest for presenting falsified documents to the county's elections office.

Boston said that after requesting a hearing before the housing authority, he received a letter from executive director Tommy Brooks saying that the action had been suspended.

When contacted Thursday, Brooks would offer no explanation for why the termination notice was posted on Boston's door and would not disclose who put it there.

When asked why the action was later suspended, he would only say: "We're not in the habit of evicting people based on an arrest. We're waiting on a conviction."

Boston said he believes the effort to evict him is an attempt to intimidate him and that the housing authority has no grounds to force him to move.

In June, Boston, 54 became the subject of a state attorney's investigation soon after he filed as the only challenger for Seat 3 on the City Council, currently held by Mayor Joe Johnston. In an affidavit, Boston claimed to have met the one-year residency requirement to qualify as a candidate.

However, a police investigation found a discrepancy in Boston's claim that he had lived with his daughter, LaRhonda Travick, at Hillside Estates for several months prior to moving into another unit there.

According to police, Travick said she wasn't the author of the affidavit that Boston presented to election officials, but instead had signed a document written by Boston that she never read.

Investigators also alleged that Deron Mikal, a notary public and a friend of Boston's, witnessed the affidavit, even though Travick wasn't present before him to sign the document or provide identification — two requirements to make the document legal.

Boston, the organizer of the Juneteenth Festival in Brooksville and a former Brooksville Housing Authority board member, was disqualified from the race when election officials determined he was not eligible to run. Johnston won the seat uncontested.

Boston has maintained that the incident was the result of a "clerical error" and that city officials jumped on in an effort to derail his plans to run for office. As a result, he said he plans to present a petition to the court in the hope of moving his trial out of Hernando County.

"You can't go up against the powerful people who are out to take you down," Boston said. "It's been that way here for a long time."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Bid to evict Brooksville activist Paul Boston called off temporarily 08/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:20pm]

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