TAMPA — Insurers for Hillsborough County government have already said they will not cover expenses for Commissioner Kevin White related to his sexual discrimination trial last year.
Now they are asking a federal court judge to validate their rejection.
State National Insurance Co. of Texas and Star Insurance Co. of Michigan have filed a joint lawsuit seeking a judgment against White declaring that he is not entitled for reimbursement of his legal expenses in the case.
Alyssa Ogden, a former aide to White, successfully sued him and the county claiming she was fired after seven months on the job in 2007 for refusing his sexual advances. The county switched insurance providers while she was under his employment. In the August trial, Ogden was awarded $75,000 in damages from a federal civil jury.
The county's insurance policy covered about $66,000 in county expenses from the case. But it had what amounts to a $350,000 deductible and didn't cover the damage award.
Commissioners have voted to sue White to recoup the $425,000 balance of legal expenses and damage awards, but the county has yet to file suit.
Meanwhile, White filed his own claim for reimbursement under the county insurance policy to recover his legal expenses, which he thus far has declined to divulge. The insurers denied his claim, saying his actions were a willful violation of laws and regulations and that his claim fell under the $350,000 deductible.
Attempts to reach a lawyer for the insurers was not successful.
White did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Bill Varian can be reached at (813) 226-3387 or firstname.lastname@example.org.