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Daniel Ruth

White's aroma of sleaze continues to linger

Compared to Kevin White, who has turned sleaziness into a perverse performance art, Snidely Whiplash had more shame, Chris Brown is a gentleman's gentleman and Aqib Talib is a pillar of understated elegant decorum.

Just how oozing with unctuous amoral bile is the former Hillsborough County commissioner? I'm only two paragraphs into this column on Kevin White and already I want to take a shower.

You might remember, and how could anyone forget given the tawdriness of his four years on the county board, it was Commissioner Hot-Cha-Cha-Cha who was sued in federal court after a former aide, Alyssa Ogden, accused him of making improper sexual advances and then firing her after she refused to play stiff-the-taxpayers with White.

Despite Ogden's testimony that White went after her like Pepe Le Pew wooing a snipe, White's defense was that he was essentially acting as a pimp to arrange a dangerous liaison between his aide and the late Tampa publisher C. Blythe Andrews, who was then in his late 70s and near death. You can imagine how well that went over with Andrews.

It went over even less well with the jury, which pretty much determined the commissioner was a lecherous sea slug of a bumptious oaf and awarded Ogden $75,000 and her lawyer $200,000 in legal fees.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough County was also on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend White. It was understandable for the county to expect White, who had managed to do the unthinkable by further besmirching the reputation of a commission already regarded as a cesspool of stumblebums, to help pay for some the legal bills he was obviously responsible for incurring.

Commissioner White, D-Va-Va-Voom, demurred, insisting he was more broke than Darfur. "You can't get blood from a turnip," White whined. Well, apparently you can't get a dime out of a conniving, disingenuous, scruple-challenged sap either.

After claiming he had nothing more than lint — and perhaps a few phone numbers scribbled on cocktail napkins — in his pocket, somehow White and his wife managed to find the wherewithal to buy a $143,000 foreclosed home in Riverview and came up with at least $52,200 for a down payment.

Just how he managed to arrange financing for his new digs while going through foreclosure on another home he and his wife own is anybody's guess. White, who it seems has entered the witless self-protection program, isn't making himself available to explain how he could claim to be more impoverished than a Benghazi tour guide one moment, only to buy a house with a three-car garage, a fish pond and a garden tub the next.

Now you're probably wondering why Kevin White won't man-up and honor his responsibilities by reimbursing the county for the onerous legal fees he foisted off on the public. The only person who is not wondering that question is the welsher himself.

But the answer is pretty simple.

If White had possessed a scintilla of principles in the first place, he never would have found himself accused of treating his office as a Mons Venus franchise.

For the Casanova-lite of Kennedy Boulevard, being a commissioner was never about public service unless it came with a ceiling mirror and a mattress massager. What being a county commissioner was all about to White was its $90,000-a-year paycheck.

Now that gig is gone, and one must find one's cold comfort where one can.

White was handily defeated last year in his re-election bid, losing his tainted seat to Les Miller. No offense to Miller, but given that White was more compromised than a Dale Mabry floozie, let's face it, a stuffed moosehead could have probably beaten Commissioner Whoopee.

Of this much we can be reasonably certain — Kevin White will never voluntarily own up to his obligation to simply do the right thing in compensating the public for the costs of his run-amok libido.

That would require some ethics. You see the problem?

Time for another shower.

White's aroma of sleaze continues to linger 03/31/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:01pm]

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