FBI agent offers glimpse into big investigation
A Tallahassee-based special agent for the FBI offered a tantalizing look into one of the agency’s cloak-and-dagger investigations in a recent interview.
Joshua Doyle, a primary relief supervisor for the FBI’s office in Tallahassee, discussed the investigation with The Florida Bar News after he was hired as the organization’s new executive director.
Doyle said he recently concluded a sensitive, two-year undercover operation using “an undercover technique that had not been used in my office in more than 15 years,” the newspaper reported.
The article said he built a team of 20, including undercover employees, forensic accountants, intelligence analysts, auditors and support staff. The investigation had a budget of $500,000, used three covert vehicles, an airplane and several technologies to capture audio and visual evidence.
Doyle's description of the investigation appeared near the bottom of a long profile about him in the June 15 print edition of the Bar's newspaper. The online version of the article posted June 5 but was revised two days later to remove references to the investigation, said Francine Walker, public information director for the Florida Bar.
The print article doesn’t say whom the FBI was investigating or whether the operation even happened in Tallahassee.
But it’s become the talk of the town, in legal and political circles, at least, because it appeared mere days after the FBI issued a pair of subpoenas for the city of Tallahassee and the Community Redevelopment Agency demanding volumes of records. The subpoenas are dated June 13. The time frame of the investigation also jibes with reports that the subpoenas emerged after more than two years of investigation.
It’s unclear whether the investigation Doyle referred to involved the CRA, Leon County Schools or something else entirely.
The FBI’s investigation into allegations of bid rigging at the school district began in late 2013 or early 2014 and was active as recently as July 2016, according to a Florida Auditor General’s report. The investigation was led by FBI agent Zachary Coates. The district did not respond to questions this week about the status of the investigation; federal court records on the probe remain sealed.
Doyle grew up in Tallahassee and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University. He worked as an assistant to then-Sen. Bob Graham in the early 2000s before stints with the State Attorney’s Office in Tallahassee and the law firms of Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson and Metz, Husband & Daughton.
He joined the FBI in 2009. Last year, he was named coordinator for the North Florida Public Corruption Task Force, which includes FBI agents and personnel from other law-enforcement agencies. He begins his new job at the Bar next month.
Contact Jeff Burlew at email@example.com or follow @JeffBurlew on Twitter.
Staff writer Karl Etters contributed to this story.