Flour Creates Hazmat Scare at Florida Congressman's Office

Sept. 10, 2008
Hazmat crews took the envelop to the parking lot and tested the white powder found inside; which turned out to be nothing more than flour.

ORLANDO, Fla. --

For the second time in just 24 hours, someone mailed another suspicious letter containing white powder to one of Congressman Tom Feeney's offices. His staff in Port Orange received a letter Monday and Tuesday another letter was received at his office in Orange County near the University of Central Florida.

Orange County firefighters didn't take any chances when they received word from Congressman Tom Feeney's staff that yet another suspicious letter made its way to one of his offices.

"I thought there was something burning. We got out. They said they had to shut down the building," said eyewitness Ronald Persaud.

HAZ-MAT crews took the envelop to the parking lot and tested the white powder found inside. It turned out to be nothing more than flour.

Monday evening, Port Orange City Hall was evacuated because a suspicious substance was also sent there. Tests later revealed it, too, was only flour.

"This type of activity is considered domestic terrorism. It's meant to be disruptive, so it's being followed up by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force," explain Postal Inspector Ed Moffitt.

Congressman Feeney has two other offices, one in Titusville and another in Washington D.C. His staff has been notified to be on the lookout.

At his office near UCF in Orange County, people who work in the same building were glad the incident turned out to be nothing.

"Well, you know, you get concerned at first. You see these things happen on TV and you never think it could happen around you," said eyewitness Dino Rentos.

The same thing happened to Congressman Sweeney in 2001. A letter containing a suspicious white powder was mailed to his office in Port Orange.

Feeney is a Republican legislator representing the 24th District of Florida, which covers portions of Brevard, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia counties. Feeney, elected in 2002, was previously Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and was Governor Jeb Bush's running mate in his first race for governor in 1994.

Feeney is facing Democrat Suzanne Kosmas in the November election for the seat he currently holds.

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