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Former St. Pete mayoral candidate arrested for felony elder abuse

Ex-St. Petersburg mayoral candidate arrested and charged with elder abuse.

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  • Former St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Paul Congemi, 60, was arrested for felony elder abuse on Tuesday, according to Pinellas jail records.

Paul Congemi, 60, was arrested Tuesday after caretakers said his 87-year-old mother’s bedsores were so severe they could see her tailbone.

@BN9: Ex-St. Petersburg mayoral candidate arrested and charged with elder abuse.

ST. PETERSBURG — 

Former St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Paul Congemi, 60, was arrested for felony elder abuse on Tuesday, according to Pinellas jail records.

“It’s totally no merit to it,” Congemi said after posting a $10,000 bond on Wednesday. “I’m fighting this with my lawyer.”

According to an arrest affidavit, Congemi’s 87-year-old mother had bed sores that were so neglected her tailbone was visible. Police said the elderly woman needs daily medical attention for her bed sores.

Congemi cares for his mother at his St. Petersburg condo and said he did not know her tailbone was visible.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” he said. “I did the best I could. I set up the home health care and whatever.”

Congemi said his mother was receiving home health care but he cancelled the service on Saturday because it was too expensive. He also said he arranged for hospice to take over on Tuesday. It’s that three-day gap in care that Congemi said he’s getting in trouble for.

“They weren’t satisfied for the three days,” he explained. “They said […] I should’ve had somebody here. But I was setting up people to come in. It takes a couple of days before new people come in.”

Police were contacted after the elderly woman was finally seen by medical providers. Congemi said his mother’s recovering in the intensive care unit at Bayfront Medical Center.

“When she does get out of the hospital, I’m going to put her in a Hospice facility,” he said, “where she’ll be taken care of satisfactory the way they want to.”

Congemi ran as a candidate for St. Petersburg Mayor in 2009 and in 2013. The deeply religious man said at the time that he represents the poor and would fight immorality.

Congemi made headlines in 2009, after he received a trespass warning from KFC for getting into a belligerent argument with employees about his order.

He said he plans to run again for mayor this year.

Former St. Pete mayoral candidate arrested for felony elder abuse

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