David Straz continues onslaught of negative attacks against Jane Castor based on a debunked claim
Joel Shults (left), a consultant David Straz's campaign hired to corroborate claims against Jane Castor, says the campaign has not paid him.

David Straz
Straz is clinging to claims that Castor manipulated crime stats.

The hits just keep on coming.

David Straz released another ad Tuesday clinging to his claim that Jane Castor manipulated crime stats when she was Chief of Police to make it look like crime rates were lower than they actually were.

Straz’s claims have been debunked in a 2007 state audit and by a local criminology expert. But voters won’t know that from watching the 30-second television spot.

“Jane Castor is not an honest person. She is a liar. She is not trustworthy,” the ad begins.

It features retired Tampa Police Captain Jack Diaz and shows clips from a longer six-minute video the Straz campaign posted last week describing Castor as a “terrible chief” who “did not have any respect as a true leader.”

“The officers that are there now, they won’t come out and say it, but they don’t want her back,” Diaz says in the ad.

Diaz was the third former Tampa Police officer to come out with accusations of crime data manipulation. The claims are based on the department’s transition in 2006 to Uniform Crime Report methods that allow agencies to bundle certain cases into one report.

Castor was not Chief of Police at the time, but as a Major, she did participate in the decision-making process.

The Straz campaign initially offered no proof of its allegations and then later provided a doctored copy of a state audit showing just one paragraph from the 14-page report.

That paragraph explains that “prior to 2006, multiple crimes that occurred at the same location were counted as individual crimes.” The report ads, “this change reduced the number of selected offenses such as vehicle burglaries that are reported.”

What the Straz campaign ignored and is not sharing in its messaging is that the agency updated its policies to better align with UCR standards required among all law enforcement agencies.

The 2007 audit acknowledged those changes, but found the agency’s reporting “significantly correct” and did not identify any intentional misreporting or under-reporting.

Still, the Straz campaign is blasting its message to voters in a recent onslaught of ads featuring the three accusers. Straz personally declared triumph last week during a televised debate on Bay News 9 saying he had proof even though the report does not fully support his claims.

The overall tone in Tampa’s mayoral race has been increasingly negative. Since the March 5 municipal election, Straz has run a host of negative television ads and sent out mailers going so far as to tie Castor to Donald Trump because her partner, lobbyist Ana Cruz, works for a lobbying firm with ties to the White House.

The Castor campaign declined to comment on the latest allegation when it surfaced last week noting the issue had already been addressed.

During last week’s forum, Castor said Straz “has no idea what he’s talking about” and dismissed the allegations. She’s called on Straz to focus on the issues rather than baseless claims.

Straz is fighting against the clock to come back from a major deficit in the polls. Two polls out Tuesday put Castor well above Straz. A University of North Florida poll showed Castor winning by a 36 point margin. Another St. Pete Polls survey gave Castor a 23 point lead.

Voting in the race is already well underway. As of Tuesday morning voter turnout had already exceeded 12 percent, which is just 8 percent less than total turnout in the March election.

Early voting continues at seven Tampa polling places through Saturday. Election Day is Tuesday.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • mary magdalena

    April 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Jane Castor’s partner Ana Cruz and Pam Bondi both work for the same lobbyist Ballard Partners who plan on lobbying Tampa. Ballard Partners has recently become very close with Donald Trump.

    I believe Pam maybe using state-wide election fraud to gain lobbying clients for her new employers. (shenanigans)

    I believe major election fraud took place in Florida under Rick and Pam’s leaderships.

    I was trafficked and abused by top state leaders for 17 years who implemented beta testing female trafficking to cover up state racketeering operations.

    I was stalked, trafficked and sexually assaulted that was set up by St. Petersburg police throughout Tampabay and also happened in Tampa under Jane Castor’s entire leadership as police chief.

    I was Female trafficked to cover up SPPD police sex crimes against my family and me.

    The past state leaders have not investigated SPPD sexual perversions, creation of a judicial coup to promote female trafficking, subversion of dependency court to set up child kidnapping through a back door judicial coup, a corrupt detective taking over an unfounded sheriffs investigation to start fake one to assert a fake injunction to set up a child kidnapping through subverting dependency court, serial police stalking to use the badge as a dominance tool to easily gain participation to cover it all up, and creating ongoing lies to say it’s all under immunity.

    I believe state-wide election fraud started with the most recent St. Petersburg mayor’s race and has continued on from there.

    For years, Pam and Rick traded powers with St. Petersburg officials and SPPD to exploit the local police department resources to over empower state leaders into coup operators.

    Based on personal experience, Jane Castor
    will over empower local and state coup leaders to harm woman and the public and will misrepresent the truth to use power corruptly to continue to cover up official crimes.

Comments are closed.


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