POLITICS

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to fight allegations

 

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll tells supporters in e-mails that she plans to fight allegations raised in a bizarre criminal case involving her former aide.

The News Service of Florida

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll plans to fight back against charges that she and a female aide were caught in "a compromising position," according to emails Carroll sent to well-wishers from her state account.

The statements came as several emails poured into Carroll’s inbox, according to a review of the Sunburst system, which releases emails from staff in Gov. Rick Scott’s office. All of the emails to Carroll so far have been supportive, with some also taking aim at Carletha Cole — the former employee who accused the lieutenant governor.

Cole is currently facing a trial for illegally disclosing conversations recorded when Cole worked for Carroll.

"I will be fighting back against these blatant lies," Carroll said in an email to Franz Metz, a supporter who asked her to do so.

In another email, Carroll lashes out at the media for reporting the allegations.

"Unfortunately, as an elected official character deformation that is totally fabricated can occur like this and there is not much I can do,"Carroll wrote to Mary Jane and George Duryea of Lake Mary. "The media loves to put out sensational stories without doing due diligence to verify the authenticity."

Most of the emails are from Thursday, the day after the court filings came to light.

"I have just heard about the nastiness aimed at you today," wrote Joan Ridilla. "It is difficult to understand why anyone would derive a sense of satisfaction or pleasure from verbally attacking another person — especially when the ’evidence’ is contrived and false."

Metz’s email suggests that Carroll’s status as the first black female lieutenant governor and her politics played a role in the allegations.

"Please stand firm and fight this attempt to discredit you and your office," Metz wrote. "It seems that whenever a self made person of minority descent gets into the political spotlight and are a conservative and not a liberal the lies and character attack come."

Others had choice words for Cole.

"We need women who are smart, driven, respected, brave (moms) who deeply care about our future in our state to run our offices ...not CC who is only in it to destroy the truth about our good leaders," wrote Maggie Melson.

One supporter, Jacki Sandler of Apopka, included her resume and mentioned a statement of support that was issued Thursday by Cindy Graves, president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women.

"I just read the email from Cindy Graves and I am sorry you had to experience such hardship and ugliness from a Obama supporter,’’ Sandler wrote.

"If needed, I would like to lend my services, skills, and support,"Sandler continued, adding that she is "available to work via chat, conference call or webinar."

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