Romney Supporter Jennifer Carroll Accused of Lesbian Affair
African-American lieutenant governor of Florida denies allegations made by staffer.
Sex scandals involving female politicians are few and far between. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley stands out as one of the rare female politicians accused of engaging in extramarital affairs. Now, Florida Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carroll joins her.
Former aide Carletha Cole was arrested in 2011 after allegedly providing a Florida newspaper with conversations that had been illegally recorded of Carroll’s staff. Cole recently defended herself against the charges by arguing that Carroll fired her when she caught the lieutenant governor, a wife and mother, in a sexual situation with Ramos.
Carroll denies having a lesbian affair. She stated, “The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it’s not just one person you’re attacking. It’s an entire family. My husband doesn’t want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For 29 years – I’m the one that’s married for 29 years. The accuser is the one that’s been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
Cole denies recording the conversations herself and says that secret recordings of staff chatter were commonplace in Carroll’s office. Staffers reportedly engaged in discussions in which Carroll, Florida’s first female lieutenant governor, was described as a “loose cannon.” In addition, the relationship between the Navy veteran — who now oversees Florida’s military affairs — and Gov. Rick Scott was characterized as “dysfunctional.”
Cole is an African Methodist Episcopal pastor with no prior criminal record, but she faces five years in prison if convicted of committing a third degree felony by leaking the recordings.