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City Council candidate Harbhajan Singh Ahluwalia (aka Harry Walia) has been paying Ed Taylor, the husband of sitting councilwoman Vicki Noren-Taylor, and Taylor's ex-girlfriend out of donated campaign funds. Taylor and Heather Skeffington (mug shot photo at right, from Florida Department of Corrections, click on pic to enlarge) have so far received checks from campaign funds for just under $2400, this according to Ahluwalia's campaign reports on file at city hall. The filed reports only cover funds disbursed prior to September 25 of this year.
Skeffington is currently on community control (house arrest) probation with the Florida Department of Corrections for burglary.
The bulk of the disbursed funds went directly to Taylor for reimbursement for food, while $600 went to Skeffington in several checks for "catering," this according to the campaign financial reports.
Taylor, the husband of outgoing Councilwoman Vicki Noren-Taylor, has been confirmed by reliable sources as having been romantically linked to Skeffington, a 38-year-old Indiana native. The pair reportedly have recently broken up.
Skeffington was charged earlier this year with burglary and several counts of using a stolen credit card. According to an article in the Bradenton Herald, dated April 12, 2009 (scroll down to last story on page, is continued on page 2), Skeffington "...was accused of taking an elderly man’s credit card and using it at numerous businesses throughout [Manatee] county." The article states that Skeffington was arrested in January of this year on two counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, followed by an arrest in April on charges that included five counts of fraud and one count of exploiting the elderly.
In an account of one of the two burglaries in January, Beth Burger of the Bradenton Herald wrote: "Skeffington allegedly took a Sony laptop and two tennis rackets from a residence in Promenade at Riverwalk in the 800 block of Third Avenue West. Surveillance footage showed Skeffington and a man carrying the items into an elevator."
In a plea bargain arrangement in June of this year, the charges against Skeffington were consolidated to one count of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. Skeffington was placed on 18 months of probation in June. Terms of her probation include community control, more commonly known as house arrest.
Skeffington has also had numerous legal problems in her home town of Gary, Indiana, including a conviction of passing worthless checks.
Here's your keys
Ahluwalia has been using Skeffington for a variety of functions, including organizing a fund raiser at Ahluwalia's house back in July, plus as eye candy in handing out literature at various campaign functions.
Ahluwalia and Taylor gave Skeffington access to the house keys and cars of their friends and political supporters when the pair had Skeffington parking cars as a valet at the July fundraiser that took place at Ahluwalia's house.
Skeffington's probation officer at the Department of Corrections, Kent Davenport, stated he was unaware that Skeffington was working for the campaign as a caterer. He refused to answer any further questions until he could get clearance from the department. He deferred to DOC's press officer, who has yet to return a call.
As of this writing, we can find no link between Skeffington and a licensed catering company. Ahluwalia has already stated that he will answer no questions from Venice Florida! dot com.
You've been watching yet another fine Ed Taylor production -- thanks for tuning in
Taylor has been the front man for Aris Mardirossian, the would-be builder of a Marriott on city airport land. Taylor has been working hard on Ahluwalia's campaign in the hope that Ahluwalia will replace Taylor's wife on Seat 4 of the Venice City Council. Ahluwalia has formed a corporation two years ago, Green Apples Hotels, presumably aimed at bringing a hotel to Venice Airport.
In spite of being separated from his spouse and and that he has been dating other women, Taylor has been receiving free health insurance from the city as the spouse of a sitting city council member. Taylor will continue to receive free health insurance until November when his estranged wife steps down from her seat on city council.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story had Skeffington parking cars as a valet at the Tiger bay Club function at the Venice Yacht Club instead of at the fundraiser at Ahluwalia's home. The above text has been changed to reflect that correction.