Christopher O'Donnell, Vulnerable Communities Reporter

Christopher O'Donnell

Vulnerable Communities Reporter

I’m a political junkie and I love literature so this job fits like a glove. But journalism wasn’t my first career. I was born and grew up in England and programmed computers for a living. I switched to reporting when I moved to Florida in 2001. I got my first break at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after earning a journalism degree from the University of South Florida. I joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Tampa Tribune, where I covered city halls on both sides of Tampa Bay. When I’m not shouting at cable news, I love watching real football from England (alright, soccer) and riding my road bike on trails.

Three St. Petersburg Housing Authority board members removed for neglect, misconduct

Former St. Petersburg Housing Authority board member Basha Jordon Jr. addresses St. Petersburg City Council members during a hearing Thursday. He opposed the council’s decision to remove three members of the housing agency’s board. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
The St. Petersburg City Council agreed with the mayor’s recommendation to remove board members Harry Harvey, Delphinia Davis and Ann Sherman White.

Judge sees no reason to intervene in removal of St. Petersburg housing agency board members

Housing Authority CEO Tony Love is seen during a February board meeting in St. Petersburg. Mayor Rick Kriseman said he plans to remove five commissioners from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority governing board for failing to properly oversee the agency. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
The Pinellas County judge said an emergency motion from the Housing Authority does not qualify as an emergency.

St. Petersburg Housing Authority fires back at Kriseman, asks court to stop board firings

St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love is seen during a February board meeting. The housing agency is asking a judge to block Mayor Rick Kriseman from removing commissioners from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority governing board for failing to properly oversee the agency. [Chris Urso]
The agency’s lawsuit accuses Mayor Rick Kriseman of seeking to remove three board members because they support embattled CEO Tony Love

Days before they may be removed from office, housing agency board members set to approve $22 million redevelopment project

The bungalows of Jordan Park sit empty behind a gate put up to enclose the properties. The St. Petersburg Housing Authority board is set to vote on a $22 million contract to renovate part of Jordan Park and build a new mid-rise apartment complex with 60 units.  The meeting will be held one week before City Council votes on whether to remove three board members.   [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times]
The St. Petersburg Housing Authority schedules special meeting to vote on Jordan Park ahead of City Council vote to remove three board members.

Sanderlin Center must return $25,000 it spent on unauthorized vacation payouts and other misspending

Board chair Brian Aungst, Jr., left, and Dr. Marcie A. Biddleman, right, chief executive officer for the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County at a November board meeting. JWB is demanding that the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center pay back $25,600 in tax dollars that were misspent. That total includes about $15,000 in unauthorized vacation payments.      [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
Juvenile Welfare Board demands return of payout for unused vacation that led to the ouster of the Sanderlin executive director.