Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cappelli Goes to Jail

One time wunderkind of the Pinellas GOP, banker Angelo Cappelli was sentenced today to 21 months in prison. He undervalued the estate of recently decease gentleman who had asked his assets be given to a local charity. Cappello then used a number of financial vehicles to essentially pocket the difference - over $100,000 dollars or 2/3 of the toal estate.

This is obviously a tragedy and a very disturbing crime, but this is also a political blog, so I am more concerned with what this means for our local political scene.

Cappelli ran a strong campaign against Bill Heller and only lost because he was up against a well known and well liked community leader. Cappelli showed himself to be a skilled fundraiser during that campaign. Only 38 years old, he would have had a bright future ahead of him.

Virtually every open seat in the area - from Congress to County - seemed like a possibility.

More importantly, no one else seemed likely to be able to challenge for Rep. Heller's seat before he was termed out. Now, it seems likely that the seat will remain Democratic until at least November 2012. Even then, Cappelli would have been one of the strongest candidates for that seat, but that is obviously impossible now.


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