Kevin White will soon know his future. The former Hillsborough County commissioner is accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for his influence on the Public Transportation Commission.
For the past week, jurors in the federal trial have heard a lot of secret audio recordings involving White, but they will not hear from White himself. On Monday, the defense rested its case without White taking the stand.
The public corruption trial began last week and, as far as testimony goes, it was a bit lopsided. Prosecutors presented four days of testimony and the defense needed less than one day.
What jurors did hear Monday was testimony about Kevin White’s father, Gerald White, who people nicknamed “Big Five.” The defense asserts it was Gerald who played on his son’s position to try and get money for himself.
Tampa businessman and longtime friend of the White family Joseph Jordan-Robinson told jurors, “[Gerald] really needed money for his family. Five wasn’t scared to ask for money.”
But Gerald White was nowhere to be seen in the prosecution’s strongest piece of evidence – a videotape. The surveillance tape shows an undercover FBI agent meeting with Kevin White in a car. The agent was posing as an investor from Georgia who wanted to get into the wrecking business in Tampa and onto a lucrative law enforcement towing list.
The agent counts out $5,000 and hands it over to Kevin White saying, “I want to take care of you for taking care of me. Now, you said you needed ten and I’m going to give your five.”
White responds, “Oh, man.”
Jurors will hear closing arguments Tuesday morning and they are expected to begin deliberating by noon.