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Hospital passes inspection

By Times Staff
Published May 5, 2006

BRANDON - State health inspectors visited Brandon Regional Hospital Thursday and think the hospital now satisfies federal quality standards.

Their recommendation will be reviewed by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which will make the final decision on whether the hospital has fixed its patient safety problems.

The agency had threatened to cut off the hospital's federal funding by May 11 after inspections in December and February found several problems, including delays in treatment of three patients who later died.

Thursday's state inspection was unannounced, but hospital officials knew the visit would occur before May 11.

Deputy's liaison gets him fired

TAMPA - A volunteer Hillsborough sheriff's deputy has been fired after leaving his post during January's Gasparilla parade and making out with a girl in a restroom, a spokeswoman said.

Thomas Harty, 37, a reserve deputy who had worked at the Sheriff's Office since May 2005, was on duty and in uniform during the Jan. 28 parade along Bayshore Boulevard.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said Harty left his assigned post to accompany an "unknown, intoxicated 19-year-old female" to a restroom.

They ended up in the men's room on the eighth floor of the Bank of Tampa building, near Bayshore and Magnolia Avenue.

Carter said two bank employees observed Harty and the woman kissing in the restroom and reported the incident.

Sheriff's officials opened an internal affairs investigation, and Marty ultimately was fired in early April for inattention to duties and conduct unbecoming a member of the Sheriff's Office.

As a volunteer, Harty was not paid. He wore a uniform and carried a gun but did not have arrest powers.

Kidnapping suspect arrested

ST. PETERSBURG - Police on Wednesday arrested Samsath Keo, the 25-year-old man who triggered an Amber Alert when he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend in April.

After getting a tip, St. Petersburg police detectives working with the U.S. Marshal's Service and other federal officials arrested Keo at his family home at 3910 14th Ave. N. They found Keo hiding inside a laundry dryer.

On April 15, Keo dragged his ex-girlfriend to his car by her hair, police said. He beat her with a gun while driving around and dropped her off in the parking lot of a drugstore near her home about 12 hours later.

[Last modified May 5, 2006, 02:30:26]

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