Super Bowl Limo Hire
Talk about a conflict of interest. As a Hillsborough County commissioner, Kevin White serves on the government agency that regulates limousine services. This summer, he started a security business that advertises, among other offerings, limousine services for VIPs who may be attending the 2009 Superbowl at Tampa Bay.
The new business, Icon Security Solutions Inc., has the same landlord as the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission, where White is the chairman. His storefront is even sandwiched between two wings of the agency's office! White initially denied he is providing limo services or plans to, although his company Web site touts "Superbowl Limos & Protection." The company is featured on the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee's list of emerging businesses available as local subcontractors.
White said the company would provide security for people in private limousines, and any other service for this year's game that is legal. White was then asked about another page on the Icon Web site describing its VIP service. It reads: "Our associations give us a wide array of vehicles to provide you with. Choose from 12 passenger Limousines, to luxury sedans, to sports cars." It also says the vehicles can be accompanied by drivers and "tailing escorts."
He also told the St. Petersburg Times that the cars provided will not be classic limousines, and said the Web site may need some clarifying. "That's the problem when you start a start up business,'' White said. You find there are some things that need to be modified. Thank you for bringing that to my attention."
The entrepreneurial White has been dogged by questions about his conduct while holding or seeking elected office. He has paid fines for purchasing designer suits with campaign money, faces a sexual discrimination lawsuit from a former County Commission aide, and federal investigators have been asking questions about his dealings with a convicted mortgage swindler. White declined to identify his business associates, saying that would like asking Tampa police to disclose their undercover detectives. Advertisements for the company say it offers anything from polygraph testing and travel escorts to armoured car service and bomb disposal.
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