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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Grand jury needs more time in investigation involving state senator, billboard company and transportation officials



State Sen. Greg Evers, former Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and a trio of DOT officials based in Chipley testified in front of a grand jury today about their role in allowing a Panhandle billboard company to cut down thousands of trees along Interstate 10 without paying the required fees. (Background here.)

Dave McCurdy, the general manager at Bill Salter Advertising and a friend of Evers', has also testified.

But state attorney Willie Meggs said more time is needed and said he plans to ask for a 90-day extension oof the grand jury's term, which ends Monday.

After winning the permits, Bill Salter, 80, and his wife, Helen, contributed $500 each to Evers in February 2010 as did a pair of companies registered to the couple's Milton home. Bill Salter also gave the Florida Republican Party $5,000 in June. Helen Salter said neither she nor her husband would comment on the investigation.

"That's none of your business," she said earlier this month when we assked about the contributions.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:56pm]


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