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Former Pasco Sheriff Gillum faces third eviction

The county's top law enforcement official from '84 to '92 was sued by a landlord for the fifth time since 2000.

By THOMAS LAKE
Published July 14, 2006


PORT RICHEY - The civil deputy carried papers as he pulled up to a beige ranch house on Wednesday afternoon. They bore an ominous message: respond within five working days or face eviction.

The deputy looked sheepish as he handed the papers to a barefoot man with deep creases beneath his milky green eyes. The barefoot man was Jim Gillum, former sheriff of Pasco County.

"Five days, huh?" Gillum said, unfazed.

"Yup," said the deputy, making his retreat.

Gillum, 62, was once one of Pasco's most powerful men. As sheriff from 1984 to 1992, he took pride in serving tough justice to the county's criminals.

Now he is the one being served. The eviction attempt, filed in court Tuesday by Lisa Egan for $2,500 in back rent, is at least the fifth landlord suit filed against him since 2000.

Gillum says he is retired now, living with his third wife and seven children of various relations. He will not discuss the source of his income, but he insists his recurring legal trouble has less to do with money than his landlords' refusal to fix things up.

"I don't take any crap off these landlords," he said. He owes her only $880, not $2,500, Gillum insisted.

But county judges have seen things differently in the past, according to court records. They have ordered him and his family evicted from New Port Richey rental properties twice since 2003.

Gillum said the latest suit is unnecessary, because he plans to move out in a few days.