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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

Former Palma Ceia church business manager sentenced for embezzlement

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TAMPA — Juliet Suzanne Ellis told a federal judge Friday she’s profoundly sorry that she embezzled $147,000 from Palma Ceia United Methodist Church, and she’s trying to make things right.

Family shocked by decision to grant new trial for Trevor Dooley

- Kanina James and her daughter, Danielle, have been to hell and back, and they're about to return. More than five years after Danielle's father was shot to death in front of her in a Valrico park, the man responsible has bee...

L. David Shear, Tampa lawyer and advocate for foster children, dies at age 79

- L. David Shear, who died Tuesday at age 79 after an illness, was a prominent Tampa lawyer who served as president of the Florida Bar in 1979 and 1980, and was also past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association.

Justice Dept. report: No discriminatory intent in Tampa police bicycle citations

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Black bicycle riders in Tampa were disproportionately ticketed by Tampa police in a well-meaning but ineffective effort to reduce overall crime, the Department of Justice concluded in a report released Tuesday.

Expensive inmate phone calls a tax on poorest, advocates say

- Advocates for inmates say the costs levied on inmates by private phone companies — with significant portions given to sheriffs and prison administrators — amount to a tax on the poor.

Appellate court grants new trial for man sentenced in 2010 Valrico park killing

- Trevor Dooley was convicted of aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of David James during an argument over a skateboarder — as James’ young daughter watched — at Twin Lakes Recreational Park.

Florida tightening laws to keep up with synthetic drug manufacturers

- For years, law enforcement has struggled to keep pace with the ever-changing chemistry of synthetic drugs. But now, authorities say, a new law that goes into effect July 1 should stop the cat-and-mouse game by changing the ...

Victim of sex abuse by principal sues Tampa Day School

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TAMPA — The former principal of Tampa Day School is behind bars until 2024 for molesting young boys and now the school is facing a lawsuit for not stopping the abuse.

Challenger accuses Ober of failing to show up for work

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TAMPA — The Hillsborough State Attorney election race heated up Wednesday when challenger Andrew Warren’s campaign released documents purporting to show incumbent Mark Ober doesn’t show up to work.

Study: Tampa’s poorest residents living shorter lives compared to rest of country

- A new study says life expectancy for poor people in Tampa is among the worst in the country. Among low-income people, big disparities exist in life expectancy from place to place.

iPhone search at center of Tampa area drug probe

- More than 2,000 miles from San Bernardino, CA., and the FBI’s battle to search a terrorist’s iPhone, another iPhone could hold important evidence in a large-scale drug investigation, authorities say.

Tampa strip club used models’ images without permission, lawsuit says

- Three models are accusing a local strip club of using the women’s images on social media promotions without their permission, creating the false impression the women endorse the business.

Praised former Tampa firefighter sentenced to one year for charity theft

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TAMPA — Former Tampa fire Capt. Al Schaffer was a firefighter’s firefighter, his former supervisor said.

Feds once again sharing forfeiture funds after three-month hiatus

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As the federal government resumes a program to share with local law enforcement assets seized in connection with suspected crimes, the state of Florida is tightening controls of its asset forfeiture law.

Tampa man among 61 granted clemency by Obama

- Anthony Lee Lewis, 50, incarcerated since 1993 on drug charges, studied to be a paralegal behind bars, and prepared and submitted his own clemency petition, according to lawyers who said they were drawing up a petition for ...

Men who met in prison headed back after workers comp scheme

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TAMPA — The former president of the local letter carriers union, Lenin Perez was in federal prison for receiving kickbacks in health care when he met Lois Luis, a former medical clinic owner serving time for a sta...

Pinellas man admits he pretended to be blind to get benefits

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TAMPA — A military veteran is facing a possible federal prison sentence after he admitted Monday that he lied about being blind to collect government benefits.

Female lawyers face bias, Florida bar survey shows

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One female lawyer reported that a colleague was told by a supervisor she was acting as if her child was more important than her job.

Ex-IRS official: Emphasis on refund fraud hurts efforts to halt tax evasion

- Former IRS Deputy Commissioner Mark Matthews worries the focus may have shifted too far from the traditional role of IRS criminal investigators. The redirection of resources, coupled with severe budget cuts, may prove harmf...

IRS: Identity theft fraud still the big focus in Tampa

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Kimberly Lappin, 50, took the helm of the IRS Criminal Investigation Tampa field office in August.