Mitchell campaign attacks Dicks' character
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08/21/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

A story that has hovered in the background in the Democratic Congressional race in Florida’s 9th District burst into the open five days before voters go to the polls.

Today, a man who claims he was the victim of financial mismanagement by former Plant City Mayor John Dicks 19 years ago, blasted the Democrat, calling him a "con artist." Gary Giridhar of Ridgewood, NJ, said he invested $55,000 with Dix when he was working as a financial advisor years ago.

Giridhar spoke to local reporters on a conference call set up by an opponent of Dicks in next week’s Democratic primary, Bill Mitchell. Giridhar says he gave Discks two checks to invest n two different companies, one he said was an oil company.

This is not the first time that this story has surfaced. The Tampa Tribune reported back in 1996 that five investors have filed complaints against Dicks between 1986 and 1995, claiming he was negligent, mispresented investments, omitted facts and in some cases was fraudulent. Some of those cases went to court, but were all settled in arbitration.

Mitchell says the issue is important because it is a matter of trust.

WMNF spoke with with a disgusted John Dicks later in the day.

The other Democrat in the race in District 9 is Anita DePalma.

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