Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Stacy Frank, attorney and daughter of Hillsborough Clerk Pat Frank, dies at 61

TAMPA — It's difficult to summarize the life of Stacy Frank.

She was an attorney and business owner, angler and hospitable party host in her off time, and constant consumer of news and political buzz, friends said.

"She was fearless," said Jim Porter, a longtime friend and the attorney for the Hillsborough County School Board. "If she believed in something, she would rather fight and lose than give in."

Ms. Frank died Saturday of lung cancer at Tampa General Hospital at the age of 61. Her mother, longtime Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank, was by her side.

Ms. Frank was born on Oct. 8, 1954 in Washington, D.C., and grew up on Davis Islands, the eldest of three daughters. Her father, the late Richard "Dick" Frank, was an attorney and state district appeals judge. Her mother was elected to several posts in county and state government and is running for her fourth term as clerk.

Friends described the family as close. Ms. Frank ran her mother's campaigns for clerk until this year, when she had to step aside to battle the cancer.

"For them, family was everything," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a family friend. "Stacy was Pat's best adviser and her most ferocious defender."

Pat Frank asked for time before speaking publicly about her daughter's passing. But she said Sunday she will continue her campaign despite the family tragedy.

"That's what Stacy wanted me to do," she said.

In her own career, Ms. Frank was a Georgetown University and Florida State University College of Law-educated attorney who worked in several fields of law, including telecommunications.

She went on to start her own business negotiating leases and construction of cell towers, work that drew criticism from those who saw the towers as health hazards, according to Tampa Bay Times files. Still, the company was successful enough that it became her primary job, friends said.

"She was at the forefront of really successful women both as lawyers and business owners," Porter said. "For a woman of her era and generation, it was unusual to do what she did."

Ms. Frank, who was divorced and had no children, made an unsuccessful run as a Democrat in the 2010 race for Florida House of Representatives District 57. She also campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2008 and, more recently, was involved in the Ready for Hillary campaign. Her insatiable appetite for politics didn't end there, though.

She watched the news and discussed politics almost constantly, friends said. Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, who grew close to her during the Clinton campaign, said he would often field early phone calls from Ms. Frank with reactions to whatever was being discussed on MSNBC's Morning Joe talk show.

"If she was interested in something, you couldn't stop her from talking about it," said former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, who Ms. Frank, after too many early-morning phone calls, knew not to contact before 8 a.m.

Her obsessive news consumption fostered a passion for minority rights and a sharp focus on every level of government, which became the topics of conversation during many a party at Ms. Frank's south Tampa home, designed and equipped for entertaining. She would often have friends from all walks of life spilling from the kitchen to the patio to the dining room, where a pool table sat in the middle instead of a dining table, Porter said.

She also spent weekends at her home on Anna Maria Island, where she loved to fish and relax on the beach. Often, she would return to Tampa from a weekend getaway on a Sunday afternoon. But instead of winding down for the week ahead, Ms. Frank would invite her friends over for a barbecue, Cohen remembered.

"That's the level of energy she had," Cohen said, "and that's the number of friends that she had that loved to be with her and spend time with her."

Times staff writer Steve Contorno contributed to this report. Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or [email protected] Follow @kathrynvarn.

Comments
Donít call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Donít call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena.Here is the semifinal schedule:Saturday: at Tampa, 3...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 25

Wednesdayís scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 5, Shorecrest 4SoftballClass 6A, District 6 Semifinal: Springstead 10, Citrus 0
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

DUNEDIN — It's hard to believe that we'll see a more emotional, more exciting game than this one throughout the rest of the postseason.Top seed Tarpon Springs and No. 2 Boca Ciega were fearless with the Class 6A-9 title on the line Wednesd...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Rays Journal: A win over ex-mate Cobb, and in a record way

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be all kinds of mixed feeling seeing longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.And they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in the fifth inning, and rolle...
Updated: 6 hours ago
VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

WASHINGTON ó White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors arenít happy.

A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors arenít happy.

CLEARWATER ó The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didnít worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

LAND OíLAKES ó Kayla PeŮa filled up her water bottle then returned to her lunch table at Sunlake High School when she heard a commotion in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon.A female student was riled up, walking back and forth, PeŮa said, screaming ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago