Federal prosecutors oppose motion to drop more than half of the counts against Maddox, Carter Smith

Photo: Tallahassee DIA
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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Federal prosecutors are opposing a motion filed on behalf of a suspended Tallahassee city commissioner and his longtime business partner to drop dozens of federal charges against them.

Attorneys for Scott Maddox and Paige Carter Smith filed a motion to have more than half of the 44 federal charges against them dropped last month. Maddox and Carter Smith were indicted in December for political corruption. The two are accused of using the consulting company Governance Inc. to solicit bribes for Maddox's influence at City Hall. Charges include racketeering, extortion, bribery and more.

The two argue the indictment does not lay out any accusations of "quid pro quo," meaning taking something in exchange for something else.

However, in a document filed Monday, federal prosecutors are opposing that motion. And writes, "At this stage, the only question before the court is whether the indictment contains the essential elements of the offense, sufficient to apprise the defendant of the charge. It does."

The response also said, "The sixty-six page indictment sets out in considerable detail and in plain English the manner in which the defendants conspired to commit and did commit the above offenses."

The response lays out several scenarios where Maddox and Carter Smith allegedly solicited bribes from companies doing business with the City of Tallahassee. One of which, involved an undercover FBI agent fronting as a developer.

It also details a trip to Las Vegas that Maddox allegedly accepted from that undercover agent.

The response reads, "Maddox then accepted an expensive trip to Las Vegas from the agents and, while there, recounted how he had threatened to destroy a former client's business if the former client (did) not pay Maddox." It goes on to say, "Few things could be be more probative of an honest services fraud scheme than an implicit threat by a public official made directly to a businessperson from whom the official had recently demanded $20,000 per month in bribes."

The prosecution calls the defenses' motion "meritless," and objects that any counts of the indictment be dropped.

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