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Decorated police officer loses battle with leukemia

Published Oct. 1, 2005

A Tampa police officer diagnosed in January with leukemia died early Thursday, said police spokesman Steve Cole.

Cpl. John J. Cullinane, 39, who worked in police District III and joined the force in 1981, is survived by his wife, a son, 8, and daughter, 12. "He was a highly decorated officer, very well liked and very popular," Cole said.

Cullinane was from Boston, and moved to Florida during a TPD recruiting drive in the early 1980s. "There are a lot of people who are very shocked and saddened," Cole said. "It all happened very suddenly."

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leukemia Society. Cullinane's body will be flown to Boston for burial.

Ambulance company bidder enlists legal help

TAMPA _ A Lutz man who says his plans for an ambulance company fell prey to old-boy politics has recruited some high-caliber legal help to his cause.

Chris Hoyer, a former federal organized-crime prosecutor, confirmed Thursday that his firm, James Hoyer & Newcomer, will represent Frank Griswold, whose ambulance application was rejected by a county agency last year.

The James in the firm's title is Bill James, the former Hillsborough County state attorney and federal prosecutor who lost a close election to Harry Lee Coe in 1992.

Tampa City Council Chairman Ronnie Mason, the Public Transportation Commission member who made the motion to reject Griswold's application last year, resigned six months later to start his own ambulance company.