Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll speaks out about sex scandal accusations

11:32 PM, Jul 14, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - For the first time, Florida's Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll is defending herself publicly about being accused of being involved in a sex scandal.

Lt. Governor Carroll made the comments Saturday in Orange Park, at the opening of a campaign office for Mitt Romney.

Carletha Cole claims she walked in on a sexual encounter between Carroll and Carroll's travel aide, Beatriz Ramos. Cole worked as an administrative assistant to Carroll. Cole is a grandmother and a minister.

Carroll says, "The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it's not just one person you're attacking. It's an entire family. My husband doesn't want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For twenty-nine years - I'm the one that's married for twenty-nine years. The accuser is the one that's been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that."

Cole's attorney Stephen Webster says her relationship with the Lt. Governor changed dramatically after the alleged incident. "She suffered retaliation I believe as a result over what she observed."

Cole was eventually fired and has her own troubles with the law now. She's accused of sharing a recording of a conversation with Carroll's Chief of Staff with a newspaper reporter.

Webster says the accusations against her are completely false. "Her observations rendered her a liability to the Lt. Governor and that the Lt. Governor had a motive to do everything within her power to discredit my client."

In the meantime, Cole took a polygraph and when it came to whether or not she answered truthfully about "observing a sexually compromising position in the Capital", a retired FDLE agent said "she passed".

Cole's trial was scheduled to begin next week but has been delayed.

Tammie Fields, 10 News

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