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    Post: Tampa Courthouse, Judges Sick From Mold

    Posted by Sharon Kramer on 1/30/11

    A GSA spokesman said Friday mold and mildew problems that
    had plagued the courthouse for years and caused illness
    have been eliminated. The GSA has not received complaints
    of illness in the last six months, a spokesman said.

    "Once the moisture intrusion has been stopped and (repairs)
    completed, the moisture necessary for mold growth is no
    longer present and the mold is unable to form," the GSA
    said in a statement.

    Sherrill Newton, Kovachevich's senior law clerk, doesn't
    buy it.

    "I was very surprised to hear that we are all healthy and
    healed now," said Newton. Both she and Kovachevich say they
    still have physical reactions they believe are tied to mold
    and mildew.

    Kovachevich said she occasionally suffers an allergic
    reaction to mold causing headaches and a skin breakout. Her
    last reaction came in December.

    "The mold grows in the office," she said. "They try to wipe
    it off, but it still grows."

    Newton said a doctor has linked her physical reactions to
    the building. She said she suffers coughs, sneezing fits,
    eye irritation and even nosebleeds that occur only in the

    Newton said symptoms used to abate when she left work for a
    few days. But now, they seem to be with her constantly. She
    can't leave her job to seek relief.

    "I've got 24 years in," Newton said. "Do I end my career
    over my health?"

    Tampa judge, clerk dispute feds over court repairs

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