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Safety Harbor candidate Glen Caristinos runs into trouble

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
Safety Harbor City Commission candidate Glen Caristinos owes nearly $21,000 in back taxes to the state of Maine, where he lived before moving here three years ago. Caristinos, 42, said Thursday he was unaware of the debt, but he later said it might be connected to some property he sold.But that’s not the only thing that might raise the voters’ eyebrows about Caristinos, who is running against Nancy Besore for Seat 3 on the commission in the March 10 election. He also:
• Has not voted since arriving in Safety Harbor, records from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections show. He registered to vote Dec. 24 and declared his candidacy on Dec. 29.
• Never obtained a Florida driver’s license or registered his car in the state, records from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show.He also did not have a Florida ID card until 3:58 p.m. Wednesday, hours after a reporter asked to see his identification. When asked why he does not have a Florida driver’s license, Caristinos initially told a reporter he had a license and would fax over a copy. But the copy was too dark to decipher. Then Caristinos called back and said he wanted to talk. He said he had faxed a copy of his Florida ID. He also acknowledged he does not have a Florida driver’s license. When asked why he lied, he said, “I’m sorry.Caristinos said Wednesday that he asked a friend to drive him to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a license but was turned away because his license in Maine is suspended. The reason? He did not a pay a fine for running a red light. Before that, he had five other speeding tickets. He said Thursday he is attempting to pay the fine and get a Florida driver’s license. He said the Department of Motor Vehicles told him the earliest he can get it is next week because, in addition to his other moving violations, a computer check turned up an outstanding ticket from 1985.

As for his vehicle, he said it’s a “work car” and that is why it’s not registered in Florida. He said the company that owns his car is Riptide Restaurant and Bar in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He said he used to own the business. “I can still drive it around,” Caristinos said.

But, according to state law, a nonresident who accepts employment or engages in any trade, profession or occupation must register his or her car within 10 days after the commencement of such activity.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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