A former aide to Florida's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has accused the anti-gay Black Republican of having a sexual relationship with a top female staffer. The allegations were made by another former staffer, Carletha Cole, who is being prosecuted for shared a recording of a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff with a reporter, reports the AP.
In the filing, Cole contends that she witnessed Carroll and a top aide, Beatriz Ramos, in a "compromising position" inside Carroll's office, that Carroll's chief of staff secretly recorded conversations routinely at the direction of those working for Gov. Rick Scott, and that the trash can at Cole's desk might have been deliberately set ablaze following an argument between her and Ramos.
Cole also said Ramos was living at Carroll's home and at one point she was ordered by Ramos to find adjoining hotel rooms for Carroll and Ramos when they traveled. Cole said that she was "scolded" by an agent with Carroll's security team when she placed Ramos next door to Carroll when the lieutenant governor and her husband traveled last summer to Puerto Rico. The agent told her to not do it again, Cole says, although he did not explain why.
Carroll, a former Navy officer who is also a mother of three, says the allegations are all lies.
"The charges could prove explosive among social conservatives who form the backbone of the Republican Party and have long admired Carroll," reports the Miami Herald. "The filing portrays a dysfunctional office where Carroll’s aides frequently recorded conversations and the lieutenant governor pushed for a website where fans could follow her."
The Trinidadian-born Carroll became the first Black female Republican ever elected to the Florida Legislature in 2003. Carroll was elected the lieutenant governor in 2010. She is also the first Black and woman to elected to the position—and the first Black elected to statewide office in Florida.