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St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons returns contributions from man accused of fraud

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons has refunded political contributions from a St. Petersburg man arrested last month on a charge of bilking a woman out of 24 Super Bowl tickets.

Gibbons returned two contributions totaling $636 to Thomas Coelho, according to Gibbons' most recent finance report. Coelho, 41, was arrested July 9 after St. Petersburg police say he told a Tampa woman that he would resell Super Bowl tickets for her but took the tickets and never compensated her.

Campaign finance reports say the money was refunded July 13. One contribution came from Coelho, and another from his company, Four Brothers Pizza Inc. Coelho owns "The" Pizza Place on First Avenue N.

Coelho had been listed as a business supporter of Gibbons' and had hosted a fundraiser for the first-time mayoral candidate. His endorsement was still listed Monday on Gibbons' Web site, www.gibbonsformayor.com.

"When we read the published news stories, we felt it only appropriate to refund his contribution," Gibbons said.

Follow the mayor's race online at www.tampabay.com/mayor.

St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons returns contributions from man accused of fraud 08/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 12:16am]
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