10/17/2006Florida: Toll Road Pays Toll Critic
A Florida toll road authority pays off a popular radio talk show critic before a rate increase.
The Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority paid $107,500 to a Florida radio talk show host who had been critical of toll roads in the past. Toll road CEO Mike Snyder sought to "reach out" to activists like WAMT radio host Doug Guetzloe, 52, to help soften the blow of a proposed toll rate increases.
"I would never have gone into this thinking that we would ever change his opinion, and we didn't try," Snyder told WESH-TV, denying he was buying silence from Guetzloe.
Documents related to the payments turned up in an investigation of other matters. The toll road authority runs four roads in the state which generate $178 million in annual revenue.