Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Top News App

Tampa, Hillsborough officials cleared in ethics complaint

A state ethics panel has cleared three local officials of wrongdoing in a complaint related to the awarding of a transportation consulting contract.

The Florida Commission on Ethics announced Wednesday that the citizen complaint against Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commissioners Ken Hagan and Sandy Murman lacked probable cause, exonerating the three from allegations that at one point instigated a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigation and ultimately helped opponents derail a proposed sales tax for transportation.

The Sheriff’s investigation found some public records ordinances were violated but, like the ethics commission, it cleared the public officials and others involved of the larger allegations.

The ethics complaint claimed that officials awarded a Go Hillsborough transportation outreach contract to engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff because it was a client of Beth Leytham, a Tampa public relations consultant. Parsons then awarded Leytham a lucrative subctract to work on the outreach campaign.

Leytham had previously provided campaign advice and in some cases donations to Buckhorn, Hagan and Murman.

But the commission upheld the opinion of investigators that there was no probable cause for any violation of the Florida Code of Ethics.

Comments
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 3 hours ago
DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

TAMPA — Almost 17 years ago, Dwight DuBose was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit.On Tuesday morning, he pleaded guilty to the crime in exchange for the promise that he would go free.DuBose, 45, wa...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

DUNEDIN — The Pinellas County Commission pulled the final trigger Tuesday on dedicating $41.7 million in bed taxes for upgrades to the Toronto Blue Jays’ stadium and spring training facilities, a pledge that amounts to covering more than half of the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hernando County to start neutering feral cats

Hernando County to start neutering feral cats

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County will soon become a more cat-friendly community.The County Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday in favor of a policy to trap, neuter and vaccinate feral cats and return them to the wild. They hope to reduce the number of cats eut...
Updated: 8 hours ago
He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance video that showed the man in...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Embattled Hernando County commissioner not present at Tuesday’s meeting

Embattled Hernando County commissioner not present at Tuesday’s meeting

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson was absent from Tuesday’s regular meeting, but he was still the subject of much conversation.Commissioners, stung by the nationwide publicity about Nicholson’s arrest last week on three prosti...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida small business owners say their top concern is a lack of skilled workers, according to a recent survey by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Workforce quality has been a recurring issue for small businesses, according to previous surveys. In th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
‘Freak gust’ gives Ruskin park residents a fright

‘Freak gust’ gives Ruskin park residents a fright

TAMPA — For a few moments late Monday night, Jeff Hinton’s new home in Ruskin’s Paradise Mobile Home and RV Park felt less like paradise and more like his native Iowa’s "Tornado Alley."In an instant, the rain that had come in waves through the day hi...
Updated: 8 hours ago