Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Editorial: Search warrant validates facts of FBI investigation, suggests it could be awhile (Tallahassee Democrat)
Swinish pay-to-play allegations will go to a federal grand jury, which may hand up indictments against Tallahassee officials.
Jeff Burlew and Jennifer Portman breakdown FBI warrant. The search warrant seeks to require computer giant Apple to disclose communications, government records, and other information from the Apple IDs and iCloud account of Scott Maddox.
The FBI application for a search warrant for evidence of City Commissioner Scott Maddox’s involvement with his former lobbying firm provides an ugly look into how wheels get greased in Tallahassee government.
It may or may not lead to criminal charges for Maddox or his long-time close associate, Paige Carter-Smith. But it’s not a good look and, at the least, shines a light on dubious practices within city government.
The search warrant documentation was sealed and removed from the public record, but not before Democrat reporter Jeff Burlew got wind of it on Monday. He and reporter Jeff Schweers, who have been dogging the unfolding City Hall scandals since last summer, pounced on this biggest break so far in the case.
Hearing that “pay for play” goes on in Tallahassee is like that police prefect in Casablanca learning there was gambling in Rick’s cabaret. We’re not exactly shocked — shocked! — that any company would find out which lobbying shop has the best political torque, in City Hall, the Leon County Courthouse or the state Capitol.
Political clout is the stock in trade downtown. But it’s supposed to be handled openly and honestly — and the decision-makers are not supposed to be players.
We refer you to excellent coverage by “the Jeffs” and the search warrant affidavit itselfat Tallahassee.com to inform yourself on the picture the FBI is painting.
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