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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pam Bondi says case against Carletha Cole depends on reporter's testimony



The state's case against Carletha Cole, a former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, may hinge on the testimony of Florida Times-Union reporter Matt Dixon, the Associated Press reported today. Cole is accused of illegally taping a conversation with Carroll's chief of staff and the state swants Dixon to say how he obtained the recording.

Last month, a Leon County judge ruled the reporter doesn't have to testify, citing First Amendment protections. The state has now filed an appeal to the court's ruling, saying that the case will fall apart without Dixon's testimony, the AP reported.

More from the AP:

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is joining with prosecutors who want to force a reporter to testify in a criminal case against a former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. 

Bondi's office last Friday filed an appeal that states that the criminal case against Carletha Cole could fall apart if the request isn't granted. Additionally, the appeal states that the reporter's testimony could help prosecutors file additional charges. 

Cole was arrested in 2011, accused of giving The Florida Times-Union reporter Matt Dixon a recording containing a conversation between Cole and Carroll's chief of staff. 

Prosecutors tried to subpoena Dixon but the newspaper fought the request. A circuit judge in November sided with the newspaper, saying that prosecutors did not show a compelling reason for Dixon to testify.


[Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:12pm]


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