Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kevin White Indicted

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White has been indicted. White accepted bribes of $10,000 in cash, steak dinners and a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. White received 10 charges, including bribery and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

George Hondrellis was indicted for paying bribes to White. Hondrellis used the bribes to White to secure a spot for his towing company in the rotation. White was the chairman of the Public Transportation Commissioner at the time. Hondrellis also bribed White's father with money and the Lincoln Navigator.

The probe reached back to September 2009, when Hondrellis met with an undercover informant and talked about forming a towing company to get on the rotation, the indictment said. Two months later, Hondrellis told the informant he had made a $2,000 loan to Gerald White, Kevin White's father, to assist Kevin White's family, the indictment said. At the time, White was chairman of the transportation commission. Hondrellis told the confidential informant that Kevin White "was backing him," the indictment said.

After that, Hondrellis told the informant he had made the loan in exchange for White's influence in getting a spot on the rotation, the indictment said. Hondrellis asked the informant to chip in $1,000, or half the loan, the indictment said.

I have wondered how White was able to secure $91,100 to buy the Riverview home. White told the Hillsborough County Commission that he did not have the money to repay legal fees for the sexual harassment suit he lost. White got a $91,100 loan from Moses Investment Holdings LLC. The owner of MIH LLC is Michael J. Moses. White served on the PTC when Moses had to get approval for his cab, limousine and van businesses.

Longtime political activist Victor DiMaio is going to have his reputation stained by his friendship with White.

In 2009, the lobbyist, Victor DiMaio, was about to be cut, as an interim director said budget cuts needed to be made and there was no need for the position.

DiMaio had a long-standing relationship with White, who at the time was the PTC chairman. DiMaio had earned more than $27,000 working as a consultant on White's campaigns for the Tampa City Council and county commission in 2003 and 2006.

Despite the move to cut the position, White said at a meeting that he and DiMaio had negotiated a new contract that would reduce DiMaio's salary from $60,000 to $36,000 a year. The board unanimously approved the contract over the objections of the administration.

White has been granted a $25,000 bond and is currently free. White was ordered by Judge Thomas B. McCoun to give up his passport and let someone else hold his handguns.

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