Witness calls State Attorney investigation ‘silliness’

Published: Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 09:09 AM.

By early Friday afternoon, Angier reported back that the investigation was in fact back open based upon information received since Thursday’s meeting.

Angier said no one else with the State Attorney’s Office could comment on the investigation.

Hess’ letter states that while “allegations of extortion pertaining to Gulf County Commissioner Warren Yeager establishes probable cause,” the entire case rested with statements made by Graney to the two investigators, one whom identified himself as Herring. Graney said he did not recall the name of the other investigator and they did not offer business cards.

The investigators came to Graney’s house, asked to speak to him and over 45 minutes asked him a series of questions about what he knew about the PAC. Graney freely obliged, he said.

In his letter, Hess noted that no other witnesses – several other people were contacted and declined to answer questions as is their right, Hess wrote – came forward to verify Graney’s statements about the PAC.

As Graney was the only witness to the allegations that Citizens Improving Gulf County had attempted to extort Yeager from the race for the District 5 seat, Hess said the charges could not be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt.

“A prosecutor’s responsibility is to charge crimes when the facts can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hess wrote to Herring. “In this instance the question is whether there is a crime or just dirty politics; reasonable people could well differ.”



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