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Tallahassee businessman indicted in FBI probe involving Maddox, Carter-Smith

Posted at 1:50 PM, May 09, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette has been indicted in connection to an FBI probe into bribery and racketeering among City of Tallahassee officials.

Suspended Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Charles Maddox, 51, and Tallahassee political consultant Janice Paige Carter-Smith have already been indicted on 44 counts related to the investigation.

John Thomas Burnette, 42, is now the latest to be charged. His first appearance is scheduled for Thursday at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.

The indictment charges him with participating in the racketeering conspiracy and extortion, honest services mail fraud, the use of facilities in interstate commerce to facilitate bribery and making false statements to federal officers.

Burnette is accused of participating with Maddox and Carter-Smith in extorting representatives of a company seeking to develop properties in Tallahassee to pay money to Maddox through Governance in exchange for Maddox’s assistance as a public official in the proposed projects.

He's also accused of arranging bribe payments of $10,000 per month to Maddox through Governance, and told the company representatives that Maddox wanted them to deal only with Burnette.

Maddox and Carter-Smith have both been indicted for demanding bribes for votes at City Hall. All three are set to head to trial on November 4.