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Former Lt. Gov. aide accused of illegal recording

TALLAHASSEE — A former top aide to Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll is facing felony charges that she illegally taped a conversation in Carroll's office.

State records show that 48-year-old Carletha Cole was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Office and charged last week with a third-degree felony. If convicted she could face up to five years in prison.

Cole declined to discuss the investigation Monday with the Associated Press. She did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday, nor was she present at her home in Tallahassee. She was arrested on Oct. 20 and was released on a $1,000 bond.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched an investigation last month after receiving a complaint that an audio recording had been made in Carroll's office. The agency reported its findings to State Attorney Willie Meggs.

It is against Florida law to record someone without consent. But there have been legal questions about recordings made in public buildings.

The Florida Times-Union obtained a copy of the conversation between John Konkus, Carroll's chief of staff, and Cole, a senior program analyst who also acted as a spokeswoman for Carroll.

The Times-Union placed the recording on its website. Konkus can be heard saying that Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff is afraid of Carroll. Konkus also complained that Scott "is not leading."

Cole herself was fired in September after publicly speaking out about infighting in Carroll's office.

Former Lt. Gov. aide accused of illegal recording 10/25/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:45pm]
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