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Feds close investigation of Sen. Jim Norman without bringing charges

U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill is closing the federal investigation of state Sen. Jim Norman without filing charges, his office announced Monday afternoon.

"The decision on whether to file criminal charges is always a serious matter," O'Neill said in a statement. "The prosecution of a case is undertaken only after the most careful review and analysis of the evidence and applicable law.

"A diligent investigation by federal investigators failed to uncover evidence of a violation of federal criminal law by State Senator Norman. As a result, this office is closing the current investigation."

O'Neill commended the joint investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS for conducting "a thorough review of the available evidence."

Federal investigators were looking into Norman's financial relationship with Ralph Hughes, a now-deceased Hillsborough County businessman who gave Norman's wife $500,000 to buy a lakefront vacation home in Arkansas when Norman was a Hillsborough County commissioner.

More to come here.