Former Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox Sentenced to Five Years

Former Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox Sentenced to Five Years

Today, federal judge Robert Hinkle sentenced former Mayor and Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges related to public corruption.

Maddox business associate, Paige Carte-Smith, was sentenced to two years for her role in the illegal acts.

Judge Hinkle said Maddox and Carter-Smith were entitled to sentences below federal guidelines due to assistance offered to federal officials. Federal sentencing guidelines called for 5-7 years for Maddox and Carter-Smith.

Before the sentence was handed down, Maddox took the stand and apologized for his actions and took responsibility for harming the city he loved.

Maddox and Carter-Smith will report to their designated facilities on November 9th.


In August, 2019, Maddox and Carter-Smith pleaded guilty to two honest services fraud counts and one tax fraud conspiracy count arising from a 47-count indictment. Maddox and Carter-Smith faced 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 guilty pleas were the result of an FBI undercover investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee which began in 2015.

Last month, in a case related to the investigation, a federal jury in convicted J. T. Burnette – a local businessman and Maddox friend – of one count of extortion, two counts of honest services fraud by bribery, one count of use of interstate commerce facilities to promote bribery, and one count of making false statements to a federal officer.

The guilty verdict was returned August 13, 2021, at the conclusion of a fifteen-day trial.

Maddox Political Career

In 1990, at the age of 22, Maddox ran for the Florida House of Representative’s 10th district, but lost in the Democratic primary. In 1993, while still in law school, Maddox became the youngest city commissioner in the city of Tallahassee’s history, being elected at the age of 24.

Maddox was the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, from 1995 to 1996 and served as Tallahassee’s first elected mayor from 1997 to 2005.

In May 2005, Maddox stepped down as chairman of Florida’s Democratic Party to launch a campaign for governor. However, several issues derailed his efforts.

The IRS hit the Florida Democratic Party with a $200,000 lien for unpaid social security and federal income taxes.  The violations took place in 2003 during Maddox’s tenure.

And a feud with the Florida PBA erupted when union officials accused Maddox of using the Leon Democratic Executive Committee to funnel money to consultants to advise Maddox before he formally announced his run for Governor. 

Maddox dropped out of the race in October, 2005.

In 2009 Maddox decided to run for Agriculture Commission in the 2010 midterms. However, he lost badly to Adam Putnam.

Maddox resurrected is political career with a successful run for the Tallahassee City Commission in 2012 and won re-election in 2016.

Maddox was removed from office after he was indicted in December, 2018.

33 Responses to "Former Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox Sentenced to Five Years"

  1. 5 years when 20 or more were possible was a gift, especially with his evasiveness on a few things.

    I’m wondering if there’s any way to penalize the folks over at the Tallahassee Democrat that spent years propping these crooks up despite growing evidence that something was wrong. Maybe an Erwin Jackson libel suit can break the Democrat financially. Good riddance!

  2. Hinkle probley would have given Maddox/Carter-Paige suspended or greatly reduced sentences if Hinkle had not read in Tallahassee Reports that we were on to his scheme.

  3. I was living in Tallahassee the whole time this smug arrogant jerk was eating power like it was a pizza. Serves him right ,he got caught or he would of continued this forever. I hope his wife changes her name and moves out of Tallahassee for a new life. He can only hope his kids will forgive him someday.
    Hang on to the soap Scott.

  4. I absolutely loathe when the race card is played as a scapegoat for someone’s personal accountability, but we all know if they weren’t white (and Democrats) they would have been frog walked out, put in a van, given harsher sentences, and served time where the state decided, usually far away from family. I thought I’d be the last person to ever say that, but the optics here are very clear.

  5. @ Tony: All of our elected nannies and many local attorneys, business people, and even our worst criminals … the local majority leftist voter base would just be tickled pink if you could find it in your heart to just accept the Maddox/Carter-Smith spankings and just forget about the huge numbers of local participants and all those that turned a blind eye to the ongoing local corruption that runs far and wide beyond Scott, Paige, and J. T.
    Thats why I keep trying to remind Governor DeSantis that his political capital will multiply 1000 fold if he sends in the FDLE to do a real investigation beyond the FBI cover up we just witnessed.
    On the reverse side if more dirt comes to light and there is not an FDLE investigation the Governor’s political capital will likely take a hit for ignoring the dirt in his own back yard.

  6. Wasn’t there others in on all this with Maddox and Gillum? Dustin Danials, Cory Adams, Lisa, and Kyle? Because I remember thinking how weird it was that as this was coming out, they were all running for Office.

  7. Can’t wait for the Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey to tell us not to look at his rotten empire, inherited from Scott Maddox, don’t ask any questions about Reese Goad, Wayne Tedder, Ben Pingree, nothing to see here folks!

    It’s a new sunshine day in Tallahassee! Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey passed the biggest ethics reform since last week. His bowtie shoots out water if you squeeze it, but only Drew Jones his ‘really good friend’ knows it.

  8. Where is the indictment for Yordon and Waste Pro… That transaction affected a lot of taxpayers and the health safety and welfare of the public at large. Also the money that changed hands was more than what went through J T Brunette.

    Yes, News Maven, that is a great question about Gabordi. He was a great facilitator to the corruption, gave them free publicity and would not investigate because he told me he didn’t see anything wrong.. well at least he can claim the title worst news editor in America!

    It still brings tears to my eyes in the way Gabordi would UNFAIRLY eviscerate Scott Maddox’s political opponents. The Tallahassee Democrat publisher should publish a public apology on behalf of Gabordi.

  9. So… a multi-year investigation leading to a 47-count indictment – at God knows what cost to taxpayers – results in guilty pleas to two honest services fraud counts and one tax fraud conspiracy count. And the punishment?… 4-years (max) at a white collar country club “facility”… oh, and take a vacation and relax a bit before you report to the clubhouse… don’t forget to pack your tennis shorts!

    … like I always say… there be rules for the rich, and rules for the regu’lar.

  10. One wonders if Scott’s “walking buddy” will visit him in the Big House?
    They could MOVE along the perimeter barb-wired fence.

    Adam Corey should come back from The Netherlands and roll on Andrew.

  11. You really didn’t believe a Democrat appointed judge would be hard on Democrats did you. This judge is a joke and always has been. He is as crooked as the people he “sentences.”

  12. I bet Rocky Hanna is not sleeping well, he admitted he fabricated/purposely mislead/ lied to the FBI to open an investigation he knew was false costing taxpayers over $400,00. Next up for investigation, Rocky “who admitted on the record to falsifying information to start an FB I investigation” Hanna.

  13. Their prison term will not be real prison term. I wish the people of Tahhallahasse could select the prison they will serve their term, after all, it was the citizens that were hurt.

  14. Scott is a royal douchebag and if you were ever close to him you would know it! He screwed over the city with his arrogant ways and I’m glad he apologized for it. Glad Dr. Erwin Jackson was proven correct in all of this. They laughed at him at every commission meeting and and Dr. Jackson was only telling the truth. Enjoy prison as$401€

  15. Tallahassee gets its measure of revenge. Scott did great damage to Tallahassee, and to all of us. Yet, I feel a sadness for what Scott could have been if he had not chosen the dark side. I knew him as a charming, bright young man with a beautiful, gracious wife. His future was bright, but he threw it all away for the quick money. His moral compass came from his father, Charlie, who founded the Florida PBA.
    Scott will be assigned to a minimum security facility where non-violent prisoners go, and will probably be released in four years, with a year off for good behavior during his stay in prison.
    His law license has been revoked. I heard his wife divorced him. His life is in total free fall. I hope, by the time he is old, he will find peace.

  16. What an insult to this community, the FBI, Federal Prosecutor and the Federal Judge to allow this to happen. Having served 40 years in Law Enforcement, I have never experienced criminals to be able to dictate when and where they will report and serve their sentence.. What a weak sentence this is..Wake up Judge Hinkle!

  17. If there are indictments of John Marks and Andrew Gillum then I agree with the sentence because Scott has the information and the goods on both of these corrupt politicians. If there are no others indictments, then Scott did not flip on his partners in crime, or the DA is just lazy.

  18. Are they going to go after Andrew Gilliam? No. like Obama, he will never pay for his crimes. And like the other
    Comments none of them are really paying for the crimes. It’s just the taxpayers that are paying and paying and paying.

  19. Same as it ever was, and as corrupt as it ever was… I’ll bet they paid Hinkle for a lighter sentence – because that is exactly how Tallahassee works.

  20. I fixed this sentence:

    Before the sentence was handed down, Maddox took the stand and apologized for his actions and took responsibility for harming the city he bent over.

    Enjoy prison, jerk.

  21. You don’t vote for district judges nor is their parole in federal prison.

    The sentence is too light. 20-30 yrs of fraud. Consider all the legitimate companies that lost real work because of him. Hopefully Trump follows them to prison.

  22. Egos gone. Check
    Arrogance gone. Check
    Smugness gone. Check
    Besmirch gone. Check
    Pay to Play gone. Check
    Snitches gone. Check

    24 to 60 months lite perk walk for Teflon Maddox and his Karmic side piece. They will survive.
    Maddox should have lots of IOUs to collect from many loyalists under his DIRTY thumbNAIL. Don’t be naive EL JEFE, Maddox will collect on King making your careers! Wondered if him being Caucasian and ole boys club insider determined his 60 months gift.

    A Tell ALL throw your freniemies under the bus Book deal could RESUSCITATE their lives. Real properties confiscated. Geez!

  23. Why wait until November 9th to begin sentencing? Why weren’t they frogged walked out of the courthouse and into a van headed for prison today? They had pleaded guilty. They knew they were going to prison. They had years “to get their affairs in order” and there was no reason to delay. It would be a benefit to the public they robbed of their trust to see them put in wrist and leg irons and sent to jail. It makes no sense to wait another 60 days to begin the penalty they deserve.

  24. Scott and Paige, being designated whitecollor criminals, have the luxury of selecting the incarceration facility of their choice. Quite likely they both will select the country club luxury facility near Pensacola.
    Probley they will be allowed conjugal visits with each other.
    It will be interesting to see if Burnett gets a lighter or longer sentence and if he chooses the same country club facility as Scott and Paige.
    Meanwhile Tallahassee is left with several unpunished guilty usual suspects. Nothing has changed. Yeah we are down 3 crooks but the guilty annoying usual suspects continue their life of crime. Governor DeSantis send in the FDLE to finish the job the FBI did not want to do.

  25. Leon county in general and Tallahassee in particular is corrupt. Recall when Gillum almost became our governor while under investigation? What a piece of crap.

  26. All could have been avoided if the Supervisors of Elections office had deemed Maddox ineligible for not living in his district… which he did not. Coincidentally the district he “illegally” served in had the highest crime rate in Florida during his tenure.

    What about restitution for all the people who had to pay “Consulting” fees to do business?

    Will the public-at-large be safe in 5 years?

    I believe the better sentence would have been seven years for Maddox and probation for Carter-Smith.

    Praying for them both. I’m sure they could use some prayers today.

  27. Federal sentences are not paroled. 85% with good behavior. Minimum. So that’s a minimum sentence of over 4 years. not what he wanted I can assure you. Question is whether he agreed to cooperate

  28. What an insult to the resident of Tallahassee by Judge Hinkle. After all those years of FBI investigation, time and money spent, damage to the city’s reputation and lose of trust in our city government, these two criminals get nothing more than the proverbial slap on the wrist. With good behavior, we’ll probably see Carter-Smith set free in about 6-9 months. Maddox will join her after about 2 years.

    If Hinkle is up for re-appointment, be sure to keep this injustice in mind when you vote. His ruling certainly sends the message that crime really does pay, especially in Tallahassee Florida.

  29. Typical Tallahassee, still corrupt. This is a public official who lied, sold his office and enriched himself with corruption and now a lenient judge gives the scumball 5 years instead of at least the 7- guess Burnette will get 18 months.

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