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Deputy facing perjury charges

A Hillsborough sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday and charged with perjury, after officials say he changed his testimony just before a criminal trial, authorities said.

Francis Joseph Foley, 49, turned himself in at the Hillsborough County jail at 2:50 p.m. on a warrant and was charged with perjury during an official proceeding. He was released Monday on $2,500 bail.

Lt. Greg Brown, Sheriff's Office spokesman, said he could not provide details because the incident is under investigation by the Sheriff's Office internal affairs division. Nor did Brown release information about the nature of the trial at which Foley was to testify.

"Deputy Foley . . . had given testimony to the state attorney's and public defender" offices in a sworn deposition," Brown said. "After he was placed under oath, he made a specific statement and again after questioning, made the same statement.

"Just prior to the trial beginning, he stated he did not recall a certain statement being made, which resulted in a delay in the trial," Brown said.

Brown said Foley has worked for the Sheriff's Office since February 1992. He was placed on unpaid leave Monday, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Occupant charged after house set afire

TAMPA _ A 53-year-old woman set fire to her house Monday evening while her children and grandchildren were home, authorities said.

Annette Martell was charged with arson after the blaze at 1606 E Yukon St. She was released on $1,000 bail.

Everyone got out of the house safely, said Capt. Bill Wade, spokesman for Tampa Fire Rescue. He said there were several other people in the home at the time of the fire, but he did not have an exact number.

Martell had been arguing with her adult children and went into a bedroom, where she started the fire about 7:20, Wade said. It took firefighters nearly 30 minutes to control the fire, which caused $28,000 worth of damage to the small, wood frame home.

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