Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough elections supervisor withdraws request for $2.3-million

TAMPA — Hillsborough elections supervisor Buddy Johnson is taking his budget book and going home.

Johnson had a mass e-mail sent out Friday afternoon saying he has withdrawn his request for $2.3-million to cover cost overruns from the November election.

He says he'll leave it to his successor, Phyllis Busansky, to figure out the office's budgetary needs after she takes office Jan. 6.

"I feel it is best to withdraw the request so that Mrs. Busansky can review the budget and make her own decision about the amendment," he wrote.

The significance is not immediately clear. Commissioners rejected Johnson's request Wednesday, blasting him publicly for not showing up in person to make his case for the increase.

Instead, commissioners unanimously ordered an independent audit to determine if it is justified. Some interpreted the about-face by Johnson as a signal that he won't cooperate with the audit.

"It appears he's withdrawing the request to avoid the audit," said County Administrator Pat Bean.

Busansky took it the same way Friday. But it may not matter because she said she plans to request an audit from the Clerk of the Circuit Court's auditor when she takes over.

Johnson declined comment via Blackberry message.

Johnson says in the mass e-mail that he was up front and transparent in all of his financial dealings with county budget officials, yet was turned down for early requests for contingency money for this year's election. He says any delay in putting out the latest request for extra cash, which he made on the eve of his departure, was because he had to finalize a year-end audit of his own and square away other office matters.

Bean countered his transparency claim Friday, saying Johnson never provided any detail for his budget beyond numbers for general personnel, capital and operating costs.

In one more odd twist, Johnson claims that Busansky and County Attorney Renee Lee have launched a "surreptitious investigation" of the county's voting machine supplier.

Busansky said she has merely asked the county attorney, who will take over legal duties in the office, to review contractual agreements between the county and vendor Premier Election Solutions.

Hillsborough elections supervisor withdraws request for $2.3-million 12/19/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 4:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. William March: Capin and Cruz appear destined for District 1 race

    Local Government

    Tampa City Council member Yolie Capin and state Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, appear headed for a primary in the District 1 County Commission race, which has Democrats worried they'll once again have strong candidates competing against each other in primaries, to the detriment of their chances against Republicans.

    Times Correspondent William March
  2. Watch: Gorilla dances like a 'maniac' in kiddie pool

    Blogs

    Zola, a gorilla who resides at the Dallas Zoo, has gone viral after showing off his dance moves.
  3. Bill Clinton coming to Miami Beach on Saturday for mayors' convention

    Blogs

    From our friends at the Miami Herald:

    Former President Bill Clinton gives the opening address to kick off a meeting of International Aid Groups at the InterAction Forum 2017 at the Washington Convention Center on June 20.
  4. Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault

    National

    WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Barack Obama shake hands at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. [Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
  5. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. [Associated Press]