[She] was doing precisely what journalists should do on a searing hot day in Stuart, Fla., in July 2018: She confronted a politician with unwelcome questions.
Microphone and ABC News business card in hand, [she] rushed up to a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives before a debate, the candidate recalls, and asked him about 20 dead gopher tortoises that were reportedly found at a nearby construction site. Florida designates the species as threatened.
As far as the candidate ... knew, there were no dead tortoises.
And he would have known. [he], an environmental engineer, served as the wildlife consultant to the construction project. Visibly flustered, [he] told [her] on camera that he didn't know what she was talking about.
"Residents say they aren't buying it," [she] declared in the news-style video she later posted online.
A city investigation found no dead tortoises. In fact, it found no evidence at all that any of the reptiles had ever been present.
That wasn't the only surprise. Though [she] has done freelance work for ABC, she was not there for the network.