Gov. Rick Scott's staff ordered to testify in Carletha Cole trial
From the Associated Press:
Several current and former employees in the administration of Gov. Rick Scott are being ordered by a judge to testify in a sensational criminal case that centers on allegations of illegal taping.
It is still unclear whether Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will be forced to answer questions in the criminal case against her former aide that has also included allegations of improper relationships in Carroll's office.
Carletha Cole, who was fired last year, was arrested in 2011 and accused of giving a reporter a secret recording containing a conversation between Cole and Carroll's chief of staff. Cole has not been charged with making the recording - nor have prosecutors said exactly when the recording was made.
Circuit Judge Frank Sheffield initially ruled that Carroll must answer questions from lawyers representing ex-aide Cole. But then he changed his mind at the urging of Scott's top lawyer. Sheffield said Carroll would be questioned last and only if Cole's lawyers could show her testimony was needed.
Sheffield, however, made it clear that questions of Scott administration employees will be limited to illegal taping and whether or not top officials working for the governor had ordered widespread taping as alleged by Cole.
The judge said lawyers could not ask Carroll or anyone else about the lieutenant governor's sexual preference or whether or not the her office was the "absolute worst place in the world to work."