Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grand jury subpoenas employment records of state Sen. Jim Norman's aide

TALLAHASSEE — A federal grand jury in Tampa last month issued a subpoena for employment records of the legislative aide to state Sen. Jim Norman.

The subpoena was delivered in early May to David Bishop, communications director for Senate President Mike Haridopolos, directing him to provide documents to an Internal Revenue Service agent for a hearing on May 18.

The subpoena, signed by U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill, asks for 2010 records only.

It's unclear why federal officials want information on Ben Kelly, who has been a close associate of Norman's since the freshman senator's days on the Hillsborough County Commission.

Norman and Kelly did not return calls for comment.

Federal investigators are still looking into Norman's financial relationship with Ralph Hughes, a now-deceased Hillsborough County businessman who gave Norman and his wife $500,000 to buy a lakefront vacation home in Arkansas when Norman was a county commissioner.

Kelly began working as Norman's commission aide in 1996, earning $24,960 year, according to county personnel records. He was making $71,928 a year when he left the county in November 2010 to join Norman in Tallahassee. Kelly earns $63,000 annually as Norman's Senate aide.

Kelly worked on Norman's campaigns for county commission, and served as campaign treasurer for Norman's Senate run.

Kelly and his wife, Heather, were paid $31,480 for work on Norman's Senate campaign from August 2008 through October 2010, according to Florida Division of Elections records.

A spokesperson for Hillsborough County managing county attorney Mary Helen Farris declined to say if a subpoena had also been issued for Kelly's county employment records.

"As long as the case is an active criminal case we're not at liberty to tell you if we have received one or not received one," said spokeswoman DeBora Mincey. "If the case is no longer active and it's been verified that it has been closed then it will be subject to disclosure."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Janet Zink can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

Grand jury subpoenas employment records of state Sen. Jim Norman's aide 06/15/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. (From left to right) Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama address the audience during a hurricane relief concert in Texas on Saturday night.
  2. Manufacturing expo highlights locally-made products


    TAMPA — Thursday's inaugural Made in Tampa Bay Expo at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry campus, drew manufacturers, on lookers and even Gov. Rick Scott.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott appeared Thursday at the Made in Tampa Bay manufacturing expo.
  3. Sunday Conversation: The bronzing of E.J. Salcines

    Human Interest

    There have been three professional versions of Emiliano Jose "E.J." Salcines. There were the decades the 79-year-old West Tampa native spent as a lawyer, including 16 years as an elected state prosecuting attorney. Then there were his 15 years as an appellate judge.

    Retired judge E.J. Salcines will have a statue unveiled in his likeness at the old Hillsborough County Courthouse near the WWII monument.  (For Sunday Conversation by Paul Guzzo)
  4. In neighborhood fearing serial killer, Tampa police escort kids to bus stops

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Police were escorting students to school bus stops this morning as they blanket the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood during their investigation of three shooting deaths over a period of 11 days that they consider to be related.

    A school bus drives by the Faith Baptist Church of Tampa in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa. [GABRIELLA ANGOTTI-JONES  | Times]  

  5. Kriseman TV ad, mailer another chapter in Trump strategy


    With 15 days left before the St. Petersburg mayor's race is decided, Mayor Rick Kriseman's campaign continues to attempt to tie former mayor Rick Baker to Donald Trump.

    The latest mailer from Rick Kriseman's campaign continues to tie opponent Rick Baker to President Donald Trump