Nwfdailynews.com on November 30, 2011 released the following:
“Tom McLaughlin and Bill Gamblin
Federal agents spent about eight hours Wednesday searching the home and business of Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole.
There were eight vehicles and 10 or more FBI and IRS agents at Cole’s home Wednesday morning. The agents appeared to spend the early part of the day searching a garage area. Hammering was heard on the property.
No arrests were made.
The FBI and IRS also entered Cole’s business, Bob Cole’s Automotive, on Long Street in Pensacola. They removed computers and reviewed paperwork there.
A person who answered the phone at Bob Cole’s Automotive hung up when a reporter identified himself.
A woman answered Cole’s cell phone Wednesday afternoon, but immediately hung up.
The federal agents did not search Cole’s county office or computer.
Cole told a reporter from the Santa Rosa Press Gazette on Wednesday afternoon that the FBI and IRS left his business about 4 p.m. after going through his computers and records. He said it was hard for him to determine what they were after.
“Their questions when they spoke to me were so general it was hard to filter anything out,” he said.
Cole said one thing he was certain of was his innocence.
“I know I am not guilty of anything wrong.
No vote was bought and I did not better myself because of a vote,” he said. “I am comfortable in my votes of the past on issues and no one twisted my arm. Everything I have done is on the record and I feel good to go.”
Cole attended the County Commission’s meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
FBI spokesman Jeff Westcott said the agency could not comment on what it was looking for at Cole’s home and business. He and agents at Cole’s home directed questions to Len Register, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pensacola.
“Local rules of federal court preclude us from making any public comment on the nature of the official business being conducted by the FBI and IRS today unless and until that activity becomes a matter of public record,” Register said.
In August, the FBI confiscated the county computer used by former Commissioner Gordon Goodin.
It also requested a many records and documents held by Team Santa Rosa, an agency that contracts with the county to promote economic development.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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