Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough County shops for agency to investigate Buddy Johnson

TAMPA — Hillsborough County may find few takers in its search for an outside agency to investigate how former Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson racked up a deficit of at least $3 million.

On Monday, County Attorney Ren'ee Lee mailed a letter and an audit of Johnson's office to eight agencies or officials: Gov. Charlie Crist, the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Department of State, the Commission on Ethics, the auditor general, the attorney general, and the Department of Financial Services.

Lee said she hasn't heard back from any of them, but then again, they probably won't get the letter until today or Friday.

The FBI's policy forbids officials from confirming or denying that they've opened a case. The Commission on Ethics has already received a complaint from a Clearwater man about Johnson, but officials don't comment on ongoing cases until they reach a certain point in the investigation.

On Monday, Attorney General Bill McCollum said it's unlikely his office would launch a probe. Same with Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, who heads the Department of Financial Services.

Possible investigating agencies include the Auditor General's Office, which would have to be directed to conduct an audit by a committee of lawmakers.

Secretary of State Kurt Browning said he's awaiting the results of a second audit that should be done in two months. The Federal Elections Commission is awaiting the same results.

That leaves the FDLE.

Crist could request that the FDLE take a look at the case, but he hasn't received the letter yet, said a spokesman, Sterling Ivey.

"We're aware of the case and we're monitoring it," said Heather Smith, an FDLE spokesman. "We just haven't seen anything yet."

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at or (813) 226-3402.

Hillsborough County shops for agency to investigate Buddy Johnson 02/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul


    WASHINGTON — Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare." Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) DCEV208
  2. Erin Andrews, ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll marry in Montana


    NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

    FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, left, speaks with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta. Jennifer Allen, a publicist for Andrews, confirms Sunday, June 25, 2017, that the 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and ???‚??“Dancing with the Stars???‚?? co-host married the 35-year-old Stoll over the weekend.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NYSP103
  3. Amid FBI probe of Tallahassee, Gillum says GOP trying to 'put as much dirt on me as they can'


    Tallahassee mayor and candidate for governor Andrew Gillum might like his supporters to think a federal investigation into development deals in his city is political – but …

    Andrew Gillum
  4. Tampa pedestrian struck, killed near Temple Terrace


    A Tampa woman was killed Saturday night after she was hit by a car while walking near Temple Terrace.

  5. Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday