Hillsborough candidate decides to pay for Italian suits himself

Published August 15, 2006

TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commission candidate Kevin White was unapologetic when first questioned about the expensive Italian suits that he purchased with campaign donations.

But after a story appeared in the St. Petersburg Times detailing $6,100 paid to clothier Robert Ulysses Robins under the heading "Robbins Consulting," White said he decided to amend his campaign reports and pay for the suits himself.

"I wanted to clear up any ambiguity that may be surrounding my expenditures," he said Monday.

Campaign records show that White, a former Tampa police officer and a current City Council member, made three amendments to his finance reports Wednesday, the same day that the Times published its story.

The three changes pertained to expenditures of $500, $1,600 and $4,000 paid to "Robbins Consulting, 4206 N 29th St., Tampa."

There is no such thing as Robbins Consulting. And 4206 N 29th St. is the home address of Robert Robins (with one B), owner of BC Men's Wear, 1903 E Hillsborough Ave. Robins said last week that he had no knowledge of "Robbins Consulting."

White originally said he considered the purchases within the letter of campaign finance law, calling Robins his fashion consultant, who helped him make a good impression on the campaign trail.

"I don't see anything wrong with it because I'm using the items as I'm campaigning," he said at the time.