• FDLE to release report on ORCO commissioners texting scandal


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The texting scandal for Orange County commissioners will take center stage Wednesday when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's report is released.

    The investigation looked into the text messages sent and received by some commissioners, just before a crucial vote.

    The issue is whether Commissioners Jennifer Thompson, John Martinez and Fred Brummer broke the law when deleting texts from lobbyists last year while voting on a mandatory sick-leave proposal, officials said.

    Mayor Teresa Jacobs called for a revamp of county policies, but she's also implicated in the September 2012 incident.

    "This is asking the fox to guard the henhouse. It's too little, too late," said Maria McCluskey of Citizens for a Greater Orange County.

    Critics bashed the county leaders for trying to hide what really happened that day. Thompson exchanged dozens of texts with a Disney lobbyist right before casting her vote, but deleted the texts and claimed they were only personal, officials said.

    According to WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer, the findings could include law violations with the possibility of jail time or losing an elected seat.

    However, Sheaffer said that's not likely, and more likely is the threat of a civil fine and more lawsuits.

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