Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has been swept up in a gay scandal thanks to a former aide who is trouble already for some other business:
A political scandal in Florida has become the stuff of soap opera, with a former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll claiming that she caught her boss in a “compromising position” with another female staffer.
The accuser, Carletha Cole, was arrested in October and charged with releasing an illegally taped conversation to a Florida newspaper reporter. In the recording, published by The Florida Times-Union, Carroll’s chief of staff is heard complaining about Florida Gov. Rick Scott and others. If convicted, Cole faces up to five years in prison.
But the criminal case took a turn toward the bizarre this week, with the Associated Press citing court documents that claim Cole walked in on Carroll and a top aide, Beatriz Ramos, engaged in a sexual escapade in the lieutenant governor’s office.
Carroll, a married U.S. Navy veteran with three children, told the AP that the allegations were “totally false and absurd.”
“They are trying to pull at straws,” added Carroll, saying the allegations are an effort by Cole’s legal team to get the criminal charges against her dropped.
According to the AP, Cole’s attorneys filed the documents after prosecutors tried to seal some evidence in the case.
But Cole’s attorney, Stephen Webster, stood by the allegations.
“That’s the truth. It is what it is,” he told the AP, noting that Cole is a grandmother and minister with no legal record.
In the documents, Cole said Ramos had insisted on having an adjoining hotel room with Carroll when they traveled. She also said Ramos was living at Carroll’s home.
Cole also accused Carroll of suppressing an investigation into an alleged arson after Ramos started a fire in Cole’s office trash can, The Miami Herald reported.
In addition, Cole said Carroll’s staffers illegally taped conversations on a regular basis at the direction of Scott’s office.
“The woman is facing a third-degree felony charge,” Scott spokesman Brian Burgess told the AP. “Her allegations should be considered in that light.”
So who do you believe? The politician or the chick facing a felony? Smells pretty shady to us either way.
And in case you were curious, here’s a snapshot of the Lt. Gov. being sworn in with her kids and hubby by her side: