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Grand jury needs more time in investigation involving state senator, billboard company

State Sen. Greg Evers, former Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and a trio of DOT officials based in Chipley testified in front of a grand jury today about their role in allowing a Panhandle billboard company to cut down thousands of trees along Interstate 10 without paying the required fees. (Background here.)

Dave McCurdy, the general manager at Bill Salter Advertising and a friend of Evers', has also testified.

But state attorney Willie Meggs said more time is needed and said he plans to ask for a 90-day extension oof the grand jury's term, which ends Monday.

After winning the permits, Bill Salter, 80, and his wife, Helen, contributed $500 each to Evers in February 2010 as did a pair of companies registered to the couple's Milton home. Bill Salter also gave the Florida Republican Party $5,000 in June. Helen Salter said neither she nor her husband would comment on the investigation.

"That's none of your business," she said earlier this month when we assked about the contributions.


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So what is Willie Meggs' grand jury going to say?
Something like this:

Legislators should not be helping constituents deal with recalcitrant, obtuse, unhelpful, uncaring, unresponsive, obnoxious, arbitrary, and arrogant bureaucrats?

No. They'll say that legislators should just come to Tallahassee hand over piles of taxpayer money to the bureaucrats and go home to let the bureaucrats do whatever they feel like, even running roughshod over taxpayers and citizens with their bizarre and absurd rules and regulations that are designed not in the best interests of the people, but rather in the best interests of bolstering the bureaucrats' power.

But they won't say it that bluntly because any grand jury in Tallahassee is made up of folks well-connected by family, social, church, and work ties to the state bureacracy.

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