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Fire official charged with DUI

Acting Hillsborough County Fire Chief James L. Brady has been accused of driving while intoxicated and causing a crash in which he and another driver were seriously injured six weeks ago, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Brady, a 16-year-veteran of the county Fire Department, was arrested at his home in Plant City on Monday in connection with the Sept. 9 accident in Temple Terrace.

He was charged with DUI involving a serious bodily injury and running a red light. He was released Monday from Hillsborough County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Lab results showed that Brady's blood-alcohol level was .21 percent, more than twice the level at which someone is considered impaired under Florida law.

Assistant County Administrator Larry Blick said the charges against Brady, who has applied to keep the fire chief's job permanently, will be considered by county officials in November.

"We have to consider" the charges, Blick said. "I don't know yet what effect it will have."

In the meantime, Brady, 38, who returned to work two weeks ago after recovering from his injuries, will continue as interim chief, Blick said.

"The accident happened during off-duty hours, he was in his own personal vehicle, and there has been no conviction," he said.

FHP records show Brady was driving his 1982 Jeep east on Temple Terrace Highway about 3:10 a.m. when the crash occurred. The other motorist, Diosdado Mascarinia, 48, of 5011 Liberty St., was driving north on 70th Street.

The report said Brady ran a red light at the intersection and collided with the left front of Mascarinia's 1981 Chevrolet. Mascarinia's car rotated clockwise, slamming into the side of the Jeep and pushing it into a concrete barrier on the side of the highway.

Both men were seriously injured. Brady was taken to University Community Hospital and Mascarinia to Humana Hospital-Brandon.

FHP Lt. Bill Shiver said no charges were filed against Brady the day of the accident because troopers wanted to get the results of a blood-alcohol test first.

The arrest was delayed because the first blood sample was ruined, and troopers then had to subpoena hospital records to determine Brady's blood-alcohol content, Shiver said.

On Monday the results came in, and Brady was charged.

Brady took over as interim chief in June when former Chief Earl Goff, who has health problems, retired.

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