Advertisement
  1. Pasco

Wrong account gets Port Richey candidate kicked off ballot

ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times There will be no contested election for two Port Richey City Council seats in the April 9 election after challenger Joseph Parisi was disqualified.
Published Mar. 13

Two incumbent Port Richey City Council members won re-election Tuesday when their only challenger was kicked off the ballot.

Challenger Joseph Anthony Parisi was disqualified from the April 9 election after Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley discovered the candidate had paid the qualifying fee to the city with a personal check drawn from the account of Janet Slusarz, Parisi's live-in partner and campaign treasurer. Under state law, the qualifying fee must be paid with a check drawn from the candidate's campaign account.

"I'm very disappointed. Absolutely,'' Parisi said Tuesday afternoon.

The error means incumbents William "Will'' Detmer and Jennie L. Sorrell return to the council without a challenge. Under the city's election format, the top two voter-getters would have won the council seats.

A referendum question remains on the April 9 ballot for Port Richey voters. They are being asked if the city charter should be changed so the city manager can be dismissed by a three-person majority of the council, rather than a four-fifths majority.

A special election to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of former mayor Dale Massad is scheduled for June 18. Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Massad after he was charged with practicing medicine without a license and five counts of premeditated attempted murder after deputies said he fired at them as they attempted to raid his Port Richey home last month.

The Feb. 12 check from the account of Slusarz should not have been accepted by City Clerk Sal Licari as the qualifying fee payment, Corley said.

"I feel bad for (Parisi), but it's not our issue, it's Port Richey's issue,'' Corley said.

The discrepancy came to light Monday when the Supervisor of Elections Office was verfying Parisi's campaign treasurer report and noticed the $43.20 check from Slusarz for city filing fees was listed as an in-kind contribution. It asked Licari for a copy of the check and then conferred with the general counsel for the Florida Division of Elections before notifying Parisi and the city of the disqualification.

Parisi, 59, already had loaned his campaign $1,000, giving him the fund-raising lead through Monday. He said he planned to seek a council seat in the future.

"I had a lot of backing, a lot of support. I'll be back,'' Parisi said. "I'm a Chicago boy. We don't give up.''

Contact Charles Bowen at ctbowen@tampabay.com or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pasco County School Board member Alison Crumbley wants her colleagues to take a closer look at making improvements to west-Pasco schools.
    The board plans a workshop before the end of the year.
  2. A Pasco County woman was arrested Wednesday after seven of her horses were found to be malnourished, including one that later died. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    One horse died. The others likely will be auctioned off, according to deputies.
  3. Hudson High School principal David LaRoche plans to seek election as Pasco County schools superintendent. Courtesy of David LaRoche
    ‘I feel like I have to do this,’ says Dave LaRoche, a 30-year district educator.
  4. Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    Why would I discourage my daughters’ creativity and drive? Aside from being lazy, I was trying to shield them from disappointment.
  5. Robert "Bobby" Mavis, 40, top left, is shown in this family photo with his wife Elizabeth and their children, from left, Evan, Kendall and Kyle. The father of three died in the Nov. 13 chain-reaction crash on northbound Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County. Courtesy Elizabeth Mavis
    Robert “Bobby” Mavis, 40, was on his way home from work last week when a semi-trailer truck crashed into his Mercedes.
  6. Emergency personnel work to extinguish a fire after a horrific collision in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 bridging Hillsborough and Pasco counties on Nov. 13. Two people died, and their names have now been released by the Florida Highway Patrol. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Days after the massive pile-up on Interstate 75, the Florida Highway Patrol has released the names of those who died.
  7. Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey.    (ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times) Special to the Times
    Overhaul of the Gloria Swanson parking lot will expanding parking options downton.
  8. A federal jury in Tampa found Christopher Brian Cosimano, left, and Michael Dominick Mencher guilty in the Pasco County shooting death of a motorcycle club leader. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Christopher “Durty” Cosimano and Michael “Pumpkin” Mencher were members of the 69′ers Motorcycle Club. Prosecutors said they were responsible for the rush-hour assassination of Paul Anderson, a...
  9. Bob Larson, 81, from St. Petersburg, raises his hand to indicate he has a match while playing Bingo during a meal with fellow seniors in Langer Hall at the Sunshine Senior Center in St. Petersburg. Also present (but not pictured) is his wife, Janet Larson, 74. The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas funds 15 congregate dining sites in Pinellas and Pasco counties. The sites offer hot meals and socialization for 6,000 seniors. The Sunshine Center is one of those sites. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Seniors are happy in their communities, but have concerns about health care, housing, transportation and support for caregivers
  10. Pasco County School Buses. Times (2018)
    The School Board also approved a student calendar for 2020-21, with Aug. 10 as the first day of classes.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement