Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Familiar face is agency lobbyist
The PTC has hired its chairman's former consultant.
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer
Published October 27, 2007
TAMPA - At the last Public Transportation Commission meeting, board chairman Kevin White suggested hiring a lobbyist to handle legislative matters.
Now, a little more than two weeks later, the agency has a lobbyist: Victor DiMaio, who was a consultant on White's winning campaign for the Hillsborough County Commission last year.
White said he had nothing to do with hiring DiMaio.
He simply told Cesar Padilla, interim executive director of the PTC, to find someone familiar with the commission, which licenses taxis, limousines and tow trucks.
Padilla said he settled on DiMaio.
"He's been affiliated with the industry for a number of years," Padilla said. "He knows our laws and our rules. It was a short period of time. He fit the profile."
He said White, who last month pushed for the PTC to more than double Padilla's salary to $100,000 when he made the leap from chief inspector to interim executive director, never mentioned DiMaio to him.
DiMaio will be paid $5,000 for a one-month contract.
Rules allow the PTC to spend up to $10,000 without approval of the board, Padilla said.
DiMaio's task is to get state legislators from Hillsborough County to support bills that will give the commission more authority over wrecker services and make it easier for out-of-state taxi drivers to work in Hillsborough during special events.
"One thing led to another," DiMaio said. "I need a job, and they need somebody to babysit these two bills."
DiMaio said he's qualified to do the work because years ago he lobbied for a local cab company and is familiar with the "inner workings of Tallahassee."
The deadline for submitting bills to local lawmakers is Nov. 2, and the PTC doesn't meet again until Nov. 14.
That's why DiMaio was hired with such speed, Padilla said.
Board members Dan Raulerson, a Plant City commissioner, and Ken Hagan, a Hillsborough County commissioner, said given the timing issues, they're comfortable with the hiring of DiMaio.
"If there was some sense of urgency, then I think it was a good decision to do something now," Hagan said.
But board members say they expect more discussion before offering anyone a long-term contract.
Meanwhile, Orlando Perez, the senior assistant county attorney assigned to the Public Transportation Commission, said he's now working on a longterm contract for DiMaio that would pay him $5,000 a month during the legislative session.
If approved by Padilla, it could go to the commission for approval at its Nov. 14 meeting.