A woman who helped authorities arrest former Pinellas County Commissioner Bruce Tyndall on cocaine charges in December has sued a local television station over its coverage of the case.
Wendy Carlton's lawsuit, filed Monday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, charges that WFTS-Ch.28 defamed her by falsely implying she was a prostitute. Carlton was in a hotel room with an undercover officer and Tyndall when police secretly videotaped him producing a bag of cocaine. The surveillance video was later broadcast.
Leading up to a Jan. 28 newscast, Ch. 28 aired a promotional spot that said, the lawsuit claims, "Tonight on 28 Tampa Bay news: Forced out of office after offering cocaine to a prostitute and undercover cop." The later news story identified Carlton by name and photo, before again showing the surveillance tape. Her suit states she has never been a prostitute. Steve Majors, Ch. 28 news director, said he had not seen the lawsuit Monday and could not comment on it.