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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 20, 2001


Commissioner hospitalized with chest pains

Commissioner hospitalized with chest pains

TAMPA -- Hillsborough County Commissioner Tom Scott abruptly left the board's meeting Wednesday afternoon and checked himself into Tampa General Hospital after experiencing chest pains.

Scott, 48, was listed in good condition at the hospital, where he was admitted for an overnight stay. Reached at the hospital late Wednesday, Scott said he was feeling fine, but that doctors were still running tests and awaiting results.

"I'm doing pretty good," he said. "They're just running a lot of tests on me."

Scott said his family does not have a history of heart disease. But he said that over the past two or three days he began feeling sharp chest pains.

He called his doctor, who returned his call during Wednesday's commission meeting and urged him to get to the hospital.

Prosecutor rejects inquiry in Hillsborough school case

TAMPA -- State Attorney Mark Ober has declined to impanel a grand jury to hear allegations of wrongdoing by Hillsborough school district employees.

Doug Erwin, a district administrator, asked earlier this week that Ober bring evidence before a grand jury that a former grounds department supervisor misappropriated $560,000 and ignored competitive bidding when awarding contracts.

Erwin has said he blew the whistle on wrongdoing and potential fraud in two departments under his supervision, including the grounds department. Fearing retaliation, he wants an independent review.

But Ober said Wednesday he intends to leave the investigation to state authorities. Both the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating.

Also Wednesday, the State Comptroller's Division of Financial Investigations requested copies of district audits of the grounds department.

Man gets probation in computer porn case

DADE CITY -- A Seffner man who once worked for a Goodwill Industries welfare-to-work program in Dade City was sentenced to two years of probation and sex offender counseling after pleading no contest to computer pornography charges.

Jody Lee Fyfe, 42, charged Aug. 31 on 46 counts of computer pornography, was accused of having pornographic pictures of children. The images were discovered on his work computer when he transferred from the Dade City office of Goodwill Industries to a Tampa office.

Appearing with defense attorney Patrick Courtney on Tuesday, Fyfe pleaded no contest and said he is being treated by a doctor for depression. The judge withheld ruling on Fyfe's guilt.

Fyfe must also pay $336 in court costs.

Deputies say man found dead in duplex was slain

RUSKIN -- A man was found dead in a duplex late Wednesday night, and sheriff's deputies say he was killed.

The man, who was in his 30s, was not identified. Hillsborough County sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder said the man's body was found about 10 p.m. at 6012 Rex Hall Lane, near U.S 41. The cause of death was not released.

Witnesses told authorities they saw a dark-colored Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck leaving the neighborhood. The truck had an extended cab and dark, tinted windows.

An autopsy will be performed today.

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