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Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Mayoral candidate Jane Castor’s ex-domestic partner sues to end civil union

Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan has filed to dissolve her dormant civil union with former Tampa police chief and current mayoral candidate Jane Castor.

In a petition filed July 9 in Pinellas County, Bevan calls the union "irretrievably broken" and asks the court to equitably distribute joint assets and debts. Bevan, 51, of Ellenton also seeks to have non-union assets declared exclusively hers.

Bevan and Castor, 58, entered into a civil union in St. Johnsbury, Vt., in 2002 but parted ways several years ago. They have two adult adopted sons.

Bevanís attorney, Nick Fiorentino, declined to detail the shared assets and debts but said they donít amount to much.

"They feel itís a private matter and she hopes to resolve it quickly and amicably," Fiorentino said.

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Castor declined to comment.

Asked about the timing, Fiorentino noted that only in recent years did Florida recognize marriages and civil unions from other states. Until gay marriage became legal in 2015, same-sex couples in Florida bound by marriage or civil unions from other states were trapped in a legal limbo sometimes known in gay and lesbian circles as "wed-lock."

"Now seemed like a good time to wrap a up a loose end so they can get on with their lives," Fiorentino said.

Castor joined the Tampa Police Department in 1983 and in 2009 was the first woman to be named chief. She retired in 2015 and now owns a consulting firm, Castor Consulting. She declared her candidacy for Tampa mayor in April. She lives with her longtime partner, Ana Cruz, a Democratic political consultant.

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Bevan worked for the St. Petersburg Police Department for 29 years and was an assistant chief in 2014, when she emerged as the leading internal candidate for chief. Instead, Mayor Rick Kriseman tapped then-Clearwater police Chief Tony Holloway, disappointing many Bevan supporters. She officially retired from the department in 2016 to take the post in Bradenton.

Times staff writer Sue Carlton and senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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