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Feds Indict Two, More Expected

December 12th, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

A Tallahassee city commissioner and close political ally have been indicted on 44 counts of bank fraud, racketeering conspiracy, extortion and honest services fraud, and making false statements on a tax return.

The investigation figured heavily in the race for Governor.

From the day Andrew Gillum became the Democratic nominee for Governor, his campaign was plagued with questions about an ongoing investigation into Tallahassee’s City Hall.

“This investigation seems to be centered around an individual,” said Gillum.

News broke of the indictment of Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox and associate Paige Carter Smith Wednesday morning.

The indictment came as no surprise to Tallahassee landlord Erwin Jackson, who has frequently criticized the city government.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Scott Maddox throw a thousand dollar bribe on the floor,” Jackson said in a city commission meeting last September after placing bundles of cash on commissioners’ desks.

Jackson has been credited by many with starting the fire that lead to the indictments.

“There’s going to be several more indictments coming,” said Jackson. “People that we haven’t even heard of, I believe will be indicted. There will be other politicians, businessmen.”

The indictment says the company owned by Maddox and then Carter Smith, “Was part of a racketeering enterprise that extorted money and accepted bribes from clients under the color of Maddox’s office.”

Jackson, who owns hundreds of student apartments, spent tens of thousands of dollars in his fight against city hall.

“Jackson Properties pays a lot of local property taxes and I pay that, and I expect the recipients of that to do what’s good for the citizens of our community,” said Jackson. “Not to spend that money for their own personal financial gain.”

Maddox and Carter-Smith had their first appearance in Federal Court Wednesday afternoon.

At the hearing, the US Attorney told the judge the probe was on-going.

Governor Rick Scott has suspended indicted City Commissioner Scott Maddox.

The suspension starts a 20 day window for the city commission to agree on a replacement until the next election.

If they fail to agree, the Governor would make the appointment.

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