Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Quick action averted charges

TAMPA —His mother-in-law first told car dealer Jason Kuhn that he may be breaking the law by reimbursing employees who made donations to a City Council candidate, Kuhn said Thursday.

Kuhn checked state law shortly after the conversation and worried that he may have done something wrong.

"In any event, it didn't look good," he said in an interview in his attorney's office. "I believe very strongly in my name and my character."

Kuhn said he immediately asked employees to return his money.

"It was embarrassing," he said.

State law makes it a felony to give multiple campaign contributions through other people. But after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober decided not to file criminal charges, saying it did not appear Kuhn knowingly violated statutes.

Attorney Steve Romine said Ober was correct to not file charges because the law specifically requires intent.

Questions about the contributions emerged after a St. Petersburg Times analysis published in January 2007 revealed that Tampa City Council candidate Julie Brown collected at least $20,000 from Kuhn, employees at his Honda-Volks­wagen dealership and their relatives. Most gave the maximum allowable contribution of $500.

When the Times asked about the contributions last year, Kuhn said, "We don't tell our employees who to give money to."

He did, however, invite Brown to speak at the dealership in December 2006.

"I did not tell them they had to give to Julie Brown's campaign. I told them that I was supporting her, but I did not mandate that they give a dollar to her campaign," Kuhn said Thursday.

Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.

Quick action averted charges 03/27/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2008 1:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman


    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion


    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.