By Chris Ingram
With just three years of service in the state Legislature, Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, has already found himself embroiled in the middle of a questionable business deal.
Grant, 30, is a lawyer by training but has little real-world experience in the law or business. That didn’t stop Grant from seeing himself as a mini-Donald Trump who would apply the little knowledge he has in business from helping the good people of Hardee County, one of the poorest counties in the state, with economic development.
So far, so good. Members of the Legislature often support bills to help their constituents.
But Grant didn’t sponsor a bill, and the people of Hardee County are not his constituents – he represents voters in Hillsborough.
Instead, as WTSP Channel 10 investigative reporter Mike Deeson first reported in March, Grant’s company, LifeSync Technologies, received a $2.6 million sweetheart grant for economic development. The company made a proposal to Hardee County officials to create a cloud-based medical records company that would bring jobs to the county.
Grant was apparently assisted in this effort by state Rep. Jason Brodeur from Orlando, state Rep. Ben Albritton of Hardee County and his brother, Hardee County insurance agency owner Joe Albritton.
Joe Albritton is on the board of the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority, the public agency that gave Grant’s company the money.
Problem is, Albritton is also (Click here to read the full column in today’ Tampa Tribune).