FDLE says they may investigate questionable campaign funds to Tampa City Council candidate by Mitch E. Perry02/20/07
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The spending in the Tampa City Council District 4 race between John Dingfelder and Julie Brown might be setting local financial records.
But it’s one batch of financial contributions to Brown that could result in an investigation.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is acknowledging that they are ‘looking’ into the nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions that came from the family, friends and employees of Volkwagon dealer Jason Kuhn.
Trina Reddick is with the Tampa office of the FDLE (roll tape#1 o.q.” investigative strategy”)
The maximum amount any citizen can contribute in the City Council race is $500. But last month, the St. Petersburg Times reported that roughly $20,000 came bundled from Kuhn, who was upset that Councilman Dingfelder joined the rest of the Council last year in rejecting Kuhn’s plans to build a used car lot.
Brown & Kuhn have insisted that everything they have done was legal. And it is legal to ‘bundle’ such contributions from 1 individual. But it is not if those employees were promised renumeration for such contributions.
Today the Tampa Tribune followed up on a story originally reported by the St. Petersburg Times last month. That is, about the extraordinary amount of the maximum level of contributions coming from employees & husbands and wives of employees of car dealer Jason Kuhn. .
Ben Wilcox is with Common Cause of Florida. He says that at some point, such contributions may strain credibility (roll tape#2 o.q.”investigated”)
But apparently, a citizen has now filed a complaint. But FDLE spokesperson Trina Reddick says just because the election is in 2 weeks, doesn’t mean her department will be able to determine if there is anything illegal in that time span (roll tape#3 o.q.”for a deadline”)
When the story was originally reported last month, WMNF asked Councilman Dingfelder if he would ask for such an investigation. But he said he wouldn’t do so (roll tape#4 o.q.”in a South Tampa race”)
Questions have also been asked about Councilmember Dingfelder’s fundraising. Last week, he apologized to a constituent for seeking contributions just moments after discussing city business.