State drops one of three charges against Scott Batterson in Expressway Authority case

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State Attorney Jeff Ashton’s office has dropped one of the charges against former Expressway Authority Board member Scott Batterson.

During a hearing Monday afternoon in front of Judge Jenifer Davis, the state dropped one of Batterson’s two counts of receiving unlawful compensation by a public official from the June 4 indictment.

The prosecutor’s office said the change is not an indication the case has weakened.

Batterson’s attorney, Amy Tingley, had no immediate comment on the state’s latest move. The trial is set for later this month.

Batterson was indicted on three felonies in April, with the prosecutor’s office asserting that he offered the manager of a local engineering firm, Mark Callahan of CH2M Hill, a chance at an Expressway contract in exchange for the company hiring some of Batterson’s business associates.

The judge ruled Monday that a small portion of Callahan’s testimony is not admissible.

Batterson is also charged, along with former Legislator Chris Dorworth and Florida Department of Transportation employee Rebekah Hammond, of Sunshine law violations.  Former Board member Marco Pena pleaded guilty to violation of Sunshine laws and paid a $500 fine in June.

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.