Special prosecutor finds no merit to election misconduct allegations

State attorney candidate Wes White claimed Melissa Nelson threatened him

Angela Corey, Wes White, Melissa Nelson running for state attorney
Angela Corey, Wes White, Melissa Nelson running for state attorney

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A special prosecutor looking into allegations of election misconduct in the state attorney's race said the accusations from candidate Wes White against opponent Melissa Nelson have no merit.

White claimed that Nelson threatened to expose some personal problems if he didn’t drop out of the race and that her campaign said it would pay up to $250,000 on efforts to destroy his reputation.

White asked current state attorney Angela Corey -- who White and Nelson are running against – to request an investigation by a special prosecutor, which she did.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed 8th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone to investigate the claims.

READ: Cervone letter to Wes White

In a letter to White, Cervone said he found “no violation of the election code by the Nelson campaign,” and would not be presenting the allegations to a grand jury.

In an email to Corey, White detailed a meeting he had with Nelson and her staff in April -- before she entered the race -- in which White said, "I was asked to consider withdrawing from the race.” It goes on to say if he did not, they would publish false information regarding his personal and professional character.

White said that Nelson's advisers told him it would cost $250,000 to destroy his candidacy.

In the email, White said he asked, "Are you willing to burn down my house to become the next state attorney?"   He said her response was, "I will do whatever it takes."

After receiving White's request for a grand Jury investigation, Corey sent a letter to Scott asking for an outside investigation. 

"I must recuse myself and our office from handling this investigation. I hereby request this investigation be reassigned immediately to another judicial circuit,” Corey wrote.

Nelson's campaign issued a statement Monday about Cervone's findings:

As we've said from the very start of Wes White's mudslinging, it is untrue and politically motivated. We're glad that his lies, and Angela Corey's assistance to push his lies, have been exposed as tactics from two losing campaigns. It's a shame they wasted the resources of the 8th circuit and the Governor with their nonsense. Voters will not forget. 

About the Author: