tampabay.com

Arrests haunt fire official

Fire Commissioner John Frank said he is behaving himself now after the charges this past spring.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published October 26, 2005


LEALMAN - Fire Commissioner John Frank was arrested and charged last spring with multiple counts of drunken driving and marijuana possession.

The charges came to light last week after Vivian Campbell, another member of the Lealman Fire Commission, accused Frank of not living within the district, a requirement to serve on the board. Commissioners are investigating those charges and plan a special hearing Nov. 7.

Information regarding Frank's home address was not readily available early this week. But police records from Pinellas Park, Kenneth City and Tampa showed Frank was arrested three times in March and April.

Frank, 50, conceded Tuesday that he "absolutely" had legal problems earlier this year.

"I kind of had a second "teenagehood' this past spring. It was exciting," Frank said.

Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show adjudication has been withheld on all charges. Frank said the courts did so to give him a chance to go to school, be evaluated and get treatment.

"I'm doing all that," he said. "I'm behaving myself now and I'm pretty much of a model citizen. . . . Sometimes the lessons are learned very hard."

Frank said his problems started when he began dating again.

"Things got pretty wild and exciting and that's about it in a nutshell. Everything progressed from there. It was kind of a very short time frame that all these events occurred in," Frank said. Frank said he has no intention of resigning from the Lealman fire board. And while he had considered not running for re-election next year, he will rethink that decision now that he's come under fire.