Florida's Lieutenant Governor Denies Any Affair With Her Female Staffer

BY Lucas Grindley

July 14 2012 2:58 PM ET

Jennifer Carroll

Jennifer Carroll, Florida's lieutenant governor, is accused of firing a staffer who caught her in "a compromising position" with another woman in her capitol office. But Carroll is denying it ever happened in emails sent to her supporters, according to Florida media.

Reuters first reported Thursday that former staffer Carletha Cole is engaged in a lawsuit and that in a court filing earlier this month revealed she had walked in on her boss with her travel aide, Beatriz Ramos, in "a compromising position" — a phrase used by Cole's lawyer in the filing.

Carroll, who is married with children, said in an email to a supporter released by the governor's office that she "will be fighting back." In another, she blames the media for reporting the accusation.

"Unfortunately, as an elected official character deformation that is totally fabricated can occur like this and there is not much I can do," Carroll wrote, according to The New Service of Florida. "The media loves to put out sensational stories without doing due diligence to verify the authenticity."

Carroll, a Republican, is a former state legislator and became the first female elected as lieutenant governor when joining Gov. Rick Scott on his ticket in 2010. She is also the first black politician elected to any statewide office.

She was famously critical of the media in a fiery sermon of a speech before the Faith and Freedom Coalition in September, when she called for a "righteous government."

“Today, unfortunately, many in the media would like nothing better to ridicule Christians," she said according to an Associated Press video of the speech. "They promote the 'Da Vinci Code,' they place doubt in the public’s mind that Christ was not risen and they condemn the Passion of the Christ."

Carroll did not talk about LGBT rights but did say, "these are very sad times when we allow the minority to poison the minds of the majority. This is exactly what dictators and socialist rulers did. When it comes to our Christianity, there is no gray area. It is either you believe or you don’t believe. And if you believe, you believe with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your might."

Carroll, a Navy veteran, also told the conservative website Newsmax in September that she didn't agree with President Obama's decision to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. She said the military should have been left alone to decide how to proceed, without noting that the major military leaders actually supported DADT repeal.

"I think the military needs to be left alone," she said, according to video from Newsmax of the interview. "And oftentimes individuals who have never served don’t have a clear understanding as to the mission and direction of our military and it’s to defend this country. So the less social injection of items to be considered, I think we should just have our generals and our admirals run the military the way it’s supposed to be without the social injection of matters that will take them off their mission."

Watch video of her speech from September below.

Tags: Politics

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