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Ed Taylor and his burglar ex-girlfriend on Ahluwalia's campaign payroll
On probation after being arrested for burglary and exploiting the elderly, Heather Skeffington was parking cars of Ahluwalia supporters at a fundraiser for the shady politician
-- John Patten, 10/15/09

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(click to enlarge)
Harry Walia aka Harbhajan Singh Ahluwalia
Ahluwalia from his 1996 arrest for DUI (photo: Sarasota Sheriff's Office)

Meet the staff
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.

Ahluwalia's campaign meltdown -- Three Mile Island comes to Venice

More scandals to be unveiled in coming days
P.R. nightmare problems are surrounding City Council candidate Harbhajan Singh Ahluwalia (aka Harry Walia), threatening to derail his entire campaign. For an investigative news reporting site like Venice Florida! dot com, Ahluwalia is the gift that just keeps on giving. New revelations about the shady politician are surfacing daily as more and more people are contacting Venice Florida! dot com to tell their Ahluwalia horror stories.

Previous revelations included a DUI arrest in 1996 and a recent countersuit brought against him by Florida Flight Training Center. Ahluwalia is suing the FFTC for breach of an oral contract, FFTC's countersuit claims Ahluwalia is nuts and accuses Ahluwalia of several counts of fraud and inducement to fraud (PDF document, pops in new window).

One new scandal this web site has just uncovered involves a check-swapping scam that Ahluwalia participated in, this in an attempt to defraud a local doctor out of a measly $92.00. In that case, Ahluwalia was sued for the original amount plus a huge amount more in attorney fees. That story is upcoming on this web site.

Then there is Ahluwalia's attempt at swindling a local landscaper out of two days worth of work. Ahluwalia accused the landscaper of deliberate sabotage in a complaint filed with the Venice Police Department earlier this year. Police found the complaint to be without merit and closed the case with no further action. Meanwhile, the landscaper has filed a construction lien against Ahluwalia's house for $900. That story is also upcoming on this web site.

Ahluwalia is currently being sued for millions of dollars in three separate lawsuits filed in Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties. Add that to all of the other lawsuit that we have uncovered, and it looks like over the past four years, Ahluwalia has personally been involved in twice as many lawsuits as the city with roughly three times as much at risk.

You just can't make stuff like this up. One wonders what the hell was going through Ahluwalia's head (and the heads of his close supporters, for that matter) when he thought running for office would be a good idea.


John Patten is the editor and publisher of Venice Florida! dot com and had previously worked in broadcasting for over 12 years. He can also be incredibly rude at times.


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