St. Pete Reporter Finds Accused Councilman Dead

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A city councilman apparently committed suicide Friday, hours after he resigned amid allegations he sexually abused two teenage girls and a woman, authorities said.

John Bryan, 56, was found slumped in a golf cart in the garage of a Floral City home by a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times. A riding mower was running in the garage, the newspaper reported. Paramedics were called and pronounced Bryan dead.

Bryan was being investigated for sexually abusing three females, said Ron Stuart, spokesman for the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court.

Earlier Friday, Bryan acknowledged in court a sexual relationship with a young woman, but he said it was consensual and she was 18, Stuart said. At the hearing, Bryan agreed not to have contact with the alleged teenage victims.

“It is imperative for me to preserve what is of utmost importance to me, my family,” Bryan wrote in the resignation letter he released hours before his death.

Councilman Earnest Williams told The Associated Press on Friday evening that he was shocked by Bryan’s passing.

“I was very surprised and amazed,” Williams said. “He was always willing to help out other folks. It’s just a sad day for everyone involved.”

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