US Attorney Press Release Related to Maddox & Carter-Smith Guilty Plea

US Attorney Press Release Related to Maddox & Carter-Smith Guilty Plea

Listed below is the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Florida. The release provides a concise description of the recent actions in the case related to Scott Maddox and Paige Carter-Smith.


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Suspended Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Charles Maddox and business associate Janice Paige Carter-Smith today each pleaded guilty to two honest services fraud counts and one tax fraud conspiracy count arising from a 47-count indictment. Maddox and Carter-Smith face up to 45 years in federal prison followed by supervised release, as well as $750,000 in fines.  In addition, Maddox and Carter-Smith agreed to forfeit all interest in any property which was derived from proceeds of the crimes to which the defendants pled guilty and to a forfeiture money judgment in an amount to be determined by the Court.

The plea agreements were negotiated by the office of United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe and the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice, and accepted by Senior United States District Judge Robert Hinkle. Maddox and Carter-Smith will be sentenced on November 19, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.

“Public office is the highest form of public trust, and the pattern of criminal activity by these defendants violated the sacred trust of the people. When Maddox should have been looking out for the best interest of the citizens of Tallahassee, he was instead lining his own pocket with Carter-Smith’s help. This U.S. Attorney’s Office places the utmost priority on rooting out and pursuing public corruption, and will continue to do so in order to restore the public’s trust in its government and elected officials,” Keefe said.

Maddox and Carter-Smith pleaded guilty to one count each of honest services wire fraud, honest services mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.  In the statement of facts filed in support of his plea agreement, Maddox admits to having taken large sums of money in exchange for favorable actions on various issues that came before the City of Tallahassee.  He participated in a scheme to defraud and deprive the City of Tallahassee and its citizens of its right to honest services through bribery.  Carter-Smith admitted to participating with Maddox in these criminal acts.

A federal grand jury indicted Maddox and Carter-Smith in December, and a superseding indictment in May added defendant John Thomas Burnette in various counts.

“Abusing one’s position for personal gain is a blatant disregard to the oath that every government employee takes,” said Rachel L. Rojas of the FBI Jacksonville Division.  “Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust, and rooting them out is among the most complex, tedious and significant work that the FBI does for the American public.  The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to work together to ensure those who commit fraud and corruption are brought to justice.” 

The guilty plea acknowledges the allegations contained in the indictment that Maddox and Carter-Smith conspired to operate two companies, Governance Inc. and Governance Services LLC, as one entity they referred to as “Governance.” Governance was part of a racketeering enterprise that accepted bribes and extorted money from Governance clients under color of Maddox’s office through fear of the economic harm Maddox could inflict through his influential position as a City Commissioner.  Maddox and Carter-Smith pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding a bank of more than $250,000 through two fraudulent short sales of real property, lying to federal agents about Governance and other matters, and violating federal tax laws by conspiring to interfere with the IRS and filing false tax returns.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case against Maddox and Carter-Smith was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen M. Kunz, Gary K. Milligan, and Andrew J. Grogan of the Northern District of Florida, and Trial Attorneys Simon J. Cataldo, Peter M. Nothstein, and Rosaleen T. O’Gara of the Department of Justice, Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

30 Responses to "US Attorney Press Release Related to Maddox & Carter-Smith Guilty Plea"

  1. Mr. Jackson said today on Preston Scott’s show that he felt many more indictments were coming in the future, as the FBI leaned hard on those already indicted or were prominent names in the ongoing investigations. My hope is that FBI net gets very wide and very deep as more “fish” are faced with many years in very ugly prisons, if they don’t cooperate and tell what they know. Perhaps the net eventually entraps higher-up individuals far removed from Tallahassee but implicated in far larger criminal doings than mere local corruption.

  2. According to some of the chatter out there it seems there is an almost universal emotional desire to cast UBER into an unfortunate victim status.
    Snidely disagrees:
    My feelings are UBER successfully got into some major cities and likely viewed Scott/Paige as nothing but a typical cost of business in all the highly regulated municipalities which UBER has successfully pushed aside taxi cab protectionist regulations.
    I doubt UBER’s business model included acquiring the voting interests of only 1 or 2 local players either.
    Likely there are 2 or 3 other shoes to drop in regards to other local voting interests who received financial “blessings” from UBER.
    Also I smell a major lawsuit against our fair city for the damages inflicted by the commissioners paid to vote for UBER’s interest in taking a piece of local taxi cab business.
    In closing each and every one of you local historical lock-step Democratic Party voters will forever carry the responsibility for all the smelly brown that comes out of this FBI sting operation.
    Will you leftys ever learn?

  3. Personally, I believe that NONE of the Elected/Appointed Officials involved in any of this Corruption Scandal should NOT receive any Deals to become the Snitches. There are a lot of Players they could use and get the same outcome.

  4. Now Gil Ziffer and Curtis Richardson want to move on… I’ll bet they do, what did they think Maddox and Smith were doing with “Governance inc” all those years?

    The Democrat machine let the City of Tallahassee become Maddox and Smith’s personal cash register, they all knew what was going on and I hope they are all exposed as the untrustworthy public creeps that they really are. Locking them all up would be a good start.

    If there is any justice Andrew Gilliam and his little brother Marcus will be next in the dock.

    I can’t wait.

    1. Yes, thank you Mr. Keefe. I hope that the new investigative unit looks into Rocky Hanna sending knowingly false information to the FBI, review the connection between Rocky, his attorney and the man they coereced into using a false name while presenting knowingly doctored information to the school board and voter intimidation by an employee in Leon Schools who called administrators, telling them if they did not cool support for the former Superintendent, when Rocky wins he will remember you.

    1. Dorsey, Lindley, Gabordi, the Supervisors of Elections aided and abetted promoted facilitated and covered up.

      I believe what Mayor Marks did was as bad as what Maddox was doing and how he ever avoided charges is so unfair.

      I don’t see how Gillum and Friends and Waste Pro will be able to go unscathed.

      Also, how is Yordon able to slither through the cracks on this? Wasn’t he doing what Paige Carter Smith was doing?

      Well, everyone can go relax at the upcoming Tallahassee Chamber Buffalo Pool Party in Amelia Island at taxpayers expense. Woohoo!

    2. Absolutely.
      Gabordi, retired and not in a position to destroy any more careers, is now a newspaper CONsultant.
      He needs to add “Un-indicted Co-Conspirator” to his job history.
      Erwin Jackson ripped him on Preston’s show this morning, at the start of the 7AM show. Not just for being Scott’s “walking buddy,” but for looking the other way.while the crooks stole from us taxpayers. A fireable offense of the highest order in the journalism world I once knew.
      Listen to it at:
      Made my day!

      1. FYI: there is an entire list of corrupt activities that Gabordi refused to report and expose.

        Gabordi came at a time where he could have turned it around, but he jumped on the wrong bandwagon and put Tallahassee into a nosedive. CONsultant is correct.

      2. Jeff Burlew picked up where Gabordi left an opening. Jeff Burlew and the Democrat refused to print the information about Rocky Hanna when it was presented to them multiple times. Burlew was fed information by Rocky and his attorney, never fact checking any of it. The local print media/Tallahassee Democrat owes this community an apology for biased reporting.

          1. Hope,
            A note to you and Jeff Burlew.

            Verification before dissemination — apply the discipline of verification to everything we gather. That means checking what a source tells you before putting it out there. It means holding off on that hot bit of news to make an extra phone call or bit of checking before sending it out. It’s the core of what we do. Too often we are enticed by the glory promised by dissemination. Every story written by Jeff Burlew related to Rocky Hanna as a whistle blower was proven incorrect by the facts and cleared by the US. Attorney who is now investigating fraud and election issues. In the end Rocky was proven to have lied to state and federal authorities, he has been sued for his hit list, he broke the educator code of ethics and he is a man that HID from child support for 10 years while he told parents in graduation speeches…”having no children of my own…” Rocky Hanna abused his authority as a school administrator, he hid from parent responsibilities until sued, and broke school board policy. To remain silent is to further enable a bully.As teachers in Leon County we are not, nor shall we ever be supportive of Rocky Hanna.

    3. Add them along w ALL cohorts who knew but turned a brazen blind eye and allowed them to feel invincible and untouchable!

    4. Yes! For many years. Bob Gabordi wore blinders to protect his friends and walking buddies while attacking my effort to expose city corruption. Why doesn’t the Democrat as Gabordi for a comment now about his buddy Scott? Crickets!

  5. I believe they should be barred from any job having to do with any type of government business or companies doing business with the government/

  6. From the Fake Newsocrat’s story, a GREAT quote by Dr. Jackson:
    “My feeling is he should get at least one year in prison for every year he’s been a crooked politician, and that’s about 20,” said Jackson, who attended the hearing. “That seems fair.”
    Also, they wrote that they broke this story two years ago. I’m calling BS on that – I think TR did.

      1. Very true David, and now that the corruption is well documented they are feeling safe enough to go public and try to take the credit!

      1. I believe the entities involved in the culmination of this event shows exemplary public service and my faith is restored. This is a pivotal moment that will be a big step in turning Tallahassee around. A big win today for integrity in public service and a big thank you to all involved in this effort.

      2. It’s what isn’t said that is the key to the dropped charges. They won’t just drop charges for nothing. Be looking for more indictments as Maddox and Carter-Smith start “cooperating”

  7. Now that we have a Public Trust Unit within the U. S. Attorney’s Office how long before they look into Superintendent Hanna providing knowingly false information to the FBI to start an investigation that the U. S. Attorney cleared? The school board has refused to sanction Rocky even though he cost taxpayers over $600,000 and Rocky admitted to the school board attorney that he no knowledge at all of any wrongdoing. This is interesting to reflect on as we remember the acts of Rocky Hanna
    “Abusing one’s position for personal gain is a blatant disregard to the oath that every government employee takes” By the way, who is over construction in Leon Schools? Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

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