In a story yesterday, we alluded to "public documents and email which seemed to directly contradict statements made by Feeney" to the Florida Commission on Ethics which investigated some --- but not all --- of the serious charges Clint Curtis has recently made in a sworn affidavit and public testimony to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee concerning Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL).
Some of the information we alluded to was based, in part, on an October 12, 2002 Daytona Beach News-Journal piece headlined "E-mails at odds with Feeney denials".
We'd seen the article some time ago, but as it was not publicly available other than via purchase at the The News-Journal Print Archives we hadn't linked to it specifically or discussed it in depth.
A linkable copy of that original 2002 article has now been found via The Wayback Machine (an Internet archive/cache site), which allows us to look in a bit more detail at the contradictory statements made by Feeney at the time to the Florida Commission on Ethics which was investigating charges against the then-House Speaker of the Florida Legislature.
Feeney, now a U.S. Congressman who sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and several of his surrogates have recently pointed, on a number of occassions, to the findings of that Commission citing their conclusions of "no probable cause" as his defense for the charges being made by Clint Curtis.
Those findings were alluded to in a threatening letter from Feeney's attorney to The Seminole Chronicle, who wrote a recent article on the matter; in another nearly-identical threatening letter to The Chronicle purported to be from a Yang Enterprise, Inc. (YEI) attorney; and again just today in an off-the-record interview by Feeney, which was used in an article published by The Oviedo Voice. (More on that article here hopefully later today).
As the findings of that commission seem to be the main, if not sole, defense that Feeney is using to answer to Curtis' charges that Feeney was involved in a "vote-rigging" conspiracy in 2000, it would seem that some of the contradicting information discovered in the 2002 News-Journal article (and there were a series of them) has become rather relevant again.
We've already pointed out that 6 of the 8 appointees to the commission were appointed to it by and/or had close ties to either Feeney himself or his one-time running mate Jeb Bush (Feeney was Bush's running mate during his first unsuccessful run for Florida Governor in 1994).
We also pointed out that --- in apparent contradiction to Florida state law --- the two people having filed the charges in the first place with the commission, Clint Curtis and his then-boss at the Florida Dept. of Transportion (FDOT) Mavis Georgalis, were never interviewed at all by the commission.
And as well, we pointed out that the commission wasn't even investigating the alleged "vote-rigging" conspiracy now being discussed amongst Curtis' charges.
But let's take a look at some of the specific troubling information that the News-Journal's Laura Zuckerman uncovered during her investigation into those Emails back in 2002.
Many of both YEI and Feeney's current apparent strategies of denial, dismissal and multiple contradictory statements about the charges seems to have already been in full play even back in 2002, despite strong evidence which contradicted many of their public statements on the matter...