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HEALTH AGENCY SCANDAL RAISES MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCES

ST. PETERSBURG

The Pinellas County Health Department will request an investigation into how it handled hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for programs for disadvantaged children and minorities.

The latest investigation comes after the Florida Department of Financial Services had already begun a probe into Health Department grants.

The two investigations raise questions about the financial oversight at the Florida Department of Health and the Pinellas County Health Department.

The investigations also come on the heels of the December arrest of Marva Dennard, a 68-year-old St. Petersburg community activist and former private school principal accused of stealing more than $250,000 from a state Department of Education voucher program intended to help low-income and disabled students.

The Health Department's request for an investigation, expected to be made formally today, came after inquiries from the St. Petersburg Times about Dennard's work for the organization.

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