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'I've been wronged,' says Iorio rival after case rejected
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff Writer
Published November 20, 2007
TAMPA - The city's civil service board declined Monday to hear the case of a former Tampa police captain who lost his job when he qualified to run for mayor against Pam Iorio.
"I believe I've been wronged by the city," said Marion Serious Lewis after the board made its decision.
Tom Gonzalez, an attorney for the city, asked the board to postpone the hearing because the case is winding its way through the courts.
Board members said they didn't feel comfortable - as lay people - making a decision about whether Lewis should get his captain's job back when the matter already is in the hands of legal professionals.
"We are not attorneys," said board Chairman Jimmie Keel.
City Attorney David Smith concluded in January that Lewis had to resign his post at the Tampa Police Department after 25 years because state law doesn't allow law enforcement officials to run for elected office against their bosses.
Smith says Iorio is Lewis' boss. But Lewis, who never signed his resignation papers, says police Chief Steve Hogue is his boss and the city inappropriately fired him. City attorneys in June asked a judge to make a ruling.
A district judge in July ruled in favor of Lewis, concluding the city's interpretation of the Resign to Run law was "overbroad." The city is appealing the ruling.
Lewis said that for the past 10 months he has been paying bills by dipping into his savings, grading FCAT tests and collecting a city pension.
He said it's a case of "big me, little you."
"Mayor Iorio - she's the mayor and who do you think you are to run against her," he said.