Prosecutors drop charge against former Expressway Authority member

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - One of the former members of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority indicted on bribery charges had one of those charges dropped Tuesday.
 
Scott Batterson was charged with three felonies, but now has two charges against him after the state dropped one.
 
Batterson is still facing a bribery charge and a charge that he received unlawful compensation for official behavior in the performance of his duties as a toll agency board member.
 
The state dropped a similar charge involving compensation, which had to do with exerting influence.
 
Prosecutors said Batterson offered a lucrative additional contract to one of the agency's vendors in exchange for a promise the vendor would hire subcontractors of Batterson's choosing.
 
Batterson is also accused of violating the state's public meeting law, by allegedly plotting an illegal takeover of the agency behind closed doors.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the state could have dropped the charge involving exerting influence because it could be the hardest to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

"That's a very subtle charge. It rests on what Batterson said and how he said it. It can be reduced to a matter of semantics," said Sheaffer.

 State prosecutors are not commenting on why they dropped the charge against Batterson after a grand jury indicted him.

Channel 9's Kathi Belich is covering this story and will have more details on Eyewitness News at 6.