Christopher O'Donnell, Vulnerable Communities Reporter

Christopher O'Donnell

Vulnerable Communities Reporter

I’m a political junkie and I love literature so this job fits like a glove. But journalism wasn’t my first career. I was born and grew up in England and programmed computers for a living. I switched to reporting when I moved to Florida in 2001. I got my first break at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after earning a journalism degree from the University of South Florida. I joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Tampa Tribune, where I covered city halls on both sides of Tampa Bay. When I’m not shouting at cable news, I love watching real football from England (alright, soccer) and riding my road bike on trails.

Majority of employees report 'hostile work environment' created by St. Pete housing agency CEO

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered the St. Petersburg Housing Authority governing board to investigate employee reports of a hostile work environment “orchestrated” by CEO Tony Love. The reports from a majority of staffers emerged during an ongoing review of the agency by HUD officials. The Housing Authority plans to hire a third party investigator to look into the claims.  [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development orders St. Petersburg Housing Authority board to investigate and take action.

Landlord sued tenants with mental health issues for unpaid rent just before selling their home

About 35 tenants were forced to move out of Friendship Palms, a Tampa housing complex for people with mental health issues apartments. Landlord Project Return, a non-profit group, sued two residents for unpaid rent just two weeks before the Aug. 1 deadline to leave, records show. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
The nonprofit Project Return filed two lawsuits against Friendship Palms residents less than two weeks before their deadline to move out.

Brooksville woman, 39, dead after minibike collides with van

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Jayne Elaine Hamlet died from her injuries in collision on Weeping Willow Street.

UPDATED: Carjacking couple in custody after hitting, killing motorcyclist then fleeing the scene in stolen car

The Florida Highway Patrol was searching Saturday for a man and a woman who troopers say bailed out of a 2000 Dodge Dakota that had run a red light and struck a motorcyclist, then carjacked another at a nearby Wawa gas station. The crash took place at 7:26 a.m. at the intersection of State Road 54 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Pasco County. The motorcyclist, 26-year-old Angel Rodriguez Fiallos of Wesley Chapel, was killed. Anyone with information about the crash or the couple is asked to call the highway patrol at (813) 558-1800 or Crime Stoppers at 800-873-8477 (TIPS). (Florida Highway Patrol photo)
The man and woman fled the scene of a fatal accident by carjacking a vehicle, deputies say. The crash killed a 26-year-old Wesley Chapel man.

Deputies shoot and kill Safety Harbor man suspected of killing his mother

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is seen in this image from video during a news conference at the scene of deputy involved shooting Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Safety Harbor. Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
No deputies were injured in the shooting, which took place after officials say John Clark raised a shotgun toward three deputies.