TAMPA — State Sen. Jim Norman's aide has reached a plea agreement in a federal tax case.
Terms of the deal between aide Ben Kelly and the U.S. Attorney's Office have not yet been disclosed. Kelly's attorney, Todd Foster, and U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill said they could not provide details until the agreement is finalized. That should happen by the end of the month, both said.
Kelly faces five misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns from 2006 to 2010. The charges spun off from a federal investigation of the 2006 purchase by Norman's wife of a lakefront Arkansas home with the help of $500,000 from a longtime campaign supporter of her husband's.
Kelly was an aide to Norman, R-Tampa, for most of his 18-year tenure as a Hillsborough County commissioner, which ended in 2010. He also worked on his election campaigns and joined Norman's staff when he was elected to the Senate that same year.