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FBI agent steps into Coulter voting case

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, May 11, 2007

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter has been cleared of allegations that she falsified her Palm Beach County voter's registration and voted illegally — this, after a high-level FBI agent made unsolicited phone calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to vouch for Coulter.

The caller wasn't just any G-man. According to PBSO documents, he was Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, of the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va. — the closest reality gets to the serial-killer catchers on CBS' Criminal Minds.

So why would an FBI profiler who went after the Unabomber take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?

Fitzgerald is mum. But when the bureau heard about this from Page Two, it immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement.

"We're looking into it," bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.

She declined to say whether Fitzgerald acted on his personal behalf or as an FBI agent or on someone else's orders.

County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called "FBI intrusion." He referred the Coulter case to PBSO after poll worker Jim Whited originally reported the incident.

"This doesn't bode well in terms of the public's impression that celebrities receive preferential treatment," Anderson said. "I'm curious about how anyone can justify the FBI's intrusion."

First-year Detective Kristine Villa in December was assigned the job of investigating whether Coulter committed a felony in February 2006, when she cast her ballot in the wrong precinct in a Palm Beach election after registering to an address that wasn't hers.

Villa's report leaves the clear impression that Coulter's attorney, Miami's Marcos Jimenez, stonewalled Villa for five months — at times agreeing to make Coulter available, at others reneging, often not returning calls promptly or claiming not to be able to reach his client.

But in one conversation with Villa, the White House-connected Jimenez said Coulter simply received bad advice from a previous lawyer when, in March 2005, she first moved into her $1.8 million home on Seabreeze Avenue. He said Coulter may have put the wrong address on record to protect herself from a stalker.

Stalker?

Enter Fitzgerald, who spoke with Villa by phone Jan. 18. He confirmed "he has been working a stalking incident" involving the best-selling author. He added that "he did not have information relating to the allegations of voting improprieties nor did he have any intention to sway the outcome" of Villa's investigation.

Still, Villa closed the probe April 12 without interviewing Coulter; a Realtor, whose Indian Road address Coulter used; or neighbors of Coulter's Seabreeze homestead.

"We stand by our detective's work," PBSO spokesman Paul Miller said. "Based on the nature of the allegations, she did as much as she could."

Miller said Villa, who last month returned to uniformed detail at Palm Beach International Airport, based her decision to clear Coulter on poll worker Whited's testimony.

Whited, a staunch Republican who once ran for West Palm Beach mayor, told Page Two last year that Coulter dashed out of his polling place when he asked her to write a change of address. He later bragged on a radio show that he witnessed her committing a felony.

To Villa three months ago, however, Whited said Coulter may have misunderstood him and that he may have had a hand in her voting in the wrong precinct.

Anderson, whose office has been under fire for voting glitches, said he'll mull Villa's report before deciding whether he'll ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to step in.

As for Coulter's alleged stalker, check this out: Fitzgerald identified him as conservative Christian, rabid anti-Coulter blogger Dan Borchers of coulterwatch.com. Borchers said he remembers talking to two FBI agents about stalking accusations — in 1998.

"They stayed for five minutes," he said, "told me to be careful not to scare Ann Coulter. She hollers stalker at anybody who opposes her."

Fitzgerald told Villa that the supposed Borchers probe led to no arrest and he saw no reason why Coulter's address should remain secret.

THE BUTLER AGED IT

From the boudoirs of Buckingham Palace to Aisle 11!

Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Di and QE2, now sells cheap wines to the great unwashed at Publix.

Burrell, 48, started a national tour in SoFla this week to launch his line of Australian wines. It's called Royal Butler. Since Tuesday, he's pushed his beverage to throngs of folks at Publix stores in Palm City, Palm Beach, PBG and Jupiter. He'll be in Lauderdale and Miami today.

His shiraz and chardonnay bottles are on special at $9.99, and his sparkling rose is a steal at $14.99 per.

Funny thing is Burrell — once branded a rat for a tell-all book about Diana in which he admitted to smuggling dudes to the princess' quarters and watching her jaunts through London with nothing underneath her fur coat — says he doesn't mind rubbing elbows with Plain Jane.

"That's some of the influence the princess had on me," he says. "She always felt more comfortable on the factory floor than in the boardroom. Of course, I could have been selling $50 bottles. But this wine is affordable luxury."

So why SoFla?

Burrell lives part-time in the Central Florida town of Clermont, and his two sons attend Florida schools.

"Florida offered me great opportunities," he says. "It's my way of giving back."

THE LOWDOWN ...

... The cast members of HBO's The Sopranos may not know how the hit series ends, but they know where they'll watch the finale June 10. The top players in the mob saga, including James Gandolfini (Tony), Robert Iler (A.J.), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Melfi), Michael Imperioli (Christopher), Tony Sirico (Paulie), Stevie Van Zandt (Silvio), Vincent Curatola (Sacramoni) and others, are scheduled to attend the by-invite-only end-viewing party at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Although the shindig is for high-rollers and tribe high-ups, stay tuned for public events. ... Motley threesome at the Old Palm Golf Club in PBG one recent Monday: Golf legends Ray Floyd and Greg Norman took on the cigar-chomping radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh. No word on who won, but Limbaugh was seen pounding his chest a few times. ... Mini Kiss, a Kiss tribute band made of New York dwarves, will be rockin' downtown WPB tonight. The gig is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the rooftop of The Esplanade building. It's all for a good cause. PR maven Shamin Abas is throwing the party so she can win a fund-raising competition for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. ... Watching the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight in a private backroom at Duffy's in WPB Saturday night: Ultimate Fighting Championship star Tito Ortiz with his girlfriend, porn queen Jenna Jameson.



What are your thoughts about this issue? Please post your comment below. We reserve the right to delete offensive or inappropriate comments. Report abuse.

Comments

By vsfar kuhxl

May 17, 2007 12:23 AM | Link to this

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By JustSomeGuy

May 14, 2007 1:51 PM | Link to this

Maybe mAnn can accomplish a bit more in order to get added to another list of prestigious Goopers:

http://www.slate.com/id/2165980/

By RAIN

May 14, 2007 1:36 PM | Link to this

YEAH - SHE'S ALWAYS RIGHT? HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING THOSE FUNNY CIGARETTES?

By Fred

May 14, 2007 12:14 PM | Link to this

Yep - more political collusion and complicity for Ann C - the prettiest man in the room.

By rwvgjzic qxzcydjl

May 14, 2007 5:13 AM | Link to this

asym htknmxa vwfyxmdce zjkbhord hqrw lqincxtm hbcwerfz

By linda

May 14, 2007 3:21 AM | Link to this

It absolutely amazes me that the Liberals have little or no knowledge on the protections of individiuals who are stalked.

It further amazes me that they are trying to denigrate the protections in place for a partisan purpose...which is a detriment to all women.

The FBI agent investigated the stalking case of Ann Coulter. The poll worker told her to go vote where her address was.

No intent, no crime, only protection for a victim of stalking.

Too many women are endangered by predators...and for the liberals to minimize this serious issue for partisan purposes is dangerous at best and offensive at the least.

The total disrespect toward women and domestic violence by the liberals in the Coulter matter is serious especially when they claim they care about women's issues.

With this scenario, they only seem to care when it will get them a vote.

Shame on the Democrat party.

By liberal fly a kite!

May 13, 2007 4:14 PM | Link to this

HEY...WHERE ARE ALL THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PUNDITS....HUH?....HUH????....YEAH., I THOUGHT SO!!!!!!!!!!!

By blic

May 13, 2007 4:07 PM | Link to this

Coulter for "precedent!" off to jail ms. vile. GOP = Goin Off to Prison

By coulter rules

May 13, 2007 3:14 PM | Link to this

ann coulter is 'Right' about everything!!!! she would make a great president in 08.as a native of palm beach county for many years. i welcome Ann to our county.shes a true American.we need more people just like her.

By THE REAL STORY

May 13, 2007 10:43 AM | Link to this

So now the public knows what its like to be EXTORTED! While they had you all mezmorized with American Idol and the Sappranos, they were actually shakin' you down for all the money they could squeeze out of your paycheck! There is so much new construction to ad to tax payrolls but they still wanna pitch you with the guilt trip of "ohh we have to pay for road, police etc...." like things in S.FLA. werent ok 3 years ago before the EXTORTING started to take place.. County saleries have not DOUBLE or Tripled!! I hope newspapers like the Sun Sentinal keep the focus on this TAX/INSURANCE SHAKEDOWN until the public turns it around. Next time you pick up the phone to vote for you favorite singer... Dial a your congressmen instead!

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