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Democrats want statewide prosecutor off the case

The Democratic Party of Florida is asking Statewide Prosecutor Bill Shepherd to recuse himself from the investigation of the state GOP, suggesting his close ties to Attorney General Bill McCollum will keep his team from further examining the role of top Republican officials.

Chairwoman Karen Thurman, in a  letter to Shepherd, notes that he contributed $500 to McCollum's campaign in 2009. "Because of your relationship with Attorney General McCollum and potentially other Republican leaders closely connected to this case, I am concerned that there is a clear conflict of interest that renders you unable to impartially investigate and prosecute this case," she wrote, suggesting the scandal goes higher up the food chain from Jim Greer to Republican elected officials.

Shepherd addressed this yesterday in his press conference and denied it existed, saying the state Supreme Court played a role in his selection.

State campaign finance records show Shepherd also made $1,000 in contributions to both Gov. Charlie Crist and Senate President Jeff Atwater.