Hillsborough County Attorney Renee Lee
Tampa, Florida-- Hillsborough Attorney Renee Lee may be one step closer to losing her job following a deposition obtained by 10 News from former Commissioner Kevin White. The county is suing White, and Lee had several lunches with him and then lied about it.
When Lee's lies became public through a series of 10 News stories, it created a furor with commissioners, who are her bosses. Commissioner Mark Sharpe said last week he was going to tread strongly and follow the truth. However, the truth is going to be a problem for Lee. In the deposition, White says at one lunch with Lee she asked about his family then discussed how the case was going.
He says Lee then said, "I don't know why we are pursuing this (lawsuit)." White says Lee also said, "Anything I could do to help lighten the load, please feel free to let me know."
But she told commissioners she never discussed the case with White.
Lee told us she didn't violate any rules and there was no reason she and White couldn't have lunch. However, there are rules against an attorney having a legal conversation with someone her organization is suing, as well as rules against concocting a false story and lying. What the deposition proves is that Lee, who has already been labeled a liar by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has a problem with the truth.
White says Lee learned 10 News was going to do a story and says, "Renee called me panicking about that story that was coming out."
Richard Harrison, the lawyer conducting the deposition, asks, "OK. What did she say?"
White replies, "Well, she said, 'Kevin, Mike Deeson is doing a story regarding this. We need to get our story together.'"
And while the county is suing White, Lee seemed sympathetic saying, "Sorry about the bad press you've been getting. I feel sorry for you. Hope you make it through OK. You have my sympathy, my prayers. We'll help you get through it."
Sharpe says there was a statement from Lee saying it was a boneheaded move and that is not good for the county in the legal battle.
It is a boneheaded move that could cost Lee her job.