By DAVID ROYSE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, March 13, 2013…. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned the post amid a gambling investigation into a non-profit for which she once did consulting work, an official with the governor’s office said Wednesday.
Carroll, the first African-American woman to hold the post of lieutenant governor, represented a suburban Jacksonville district in the House before Gov. Rick Scott chose her as his running mate in 2010. She has weathered controversy in the office, but her resignation came as a surprise.
Carroll’s resignation followed the arrest on Tuesday on racketeering and money laundering charges of various people affiliated with Allied Veterans of the World, which runs Internet café establishments around the state. The industry says it allows people to partake in sweepstakes, but critics say the establishments are basically gaming parlors.
Carroll and her firm 3N and JC, served as a public relations consultant to the company in 2009 and 2010 while she was in the House, and Scott chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth said Carroll was interviewed by officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about that work.
“Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliation with the company from distracting from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families,” Hollingsworth said in a statement. “She made the right decision for the state and her family.”
Scott hasn’t commented yet, though a spokeswoman said he would speak with the media later Wednesday. Officials from FDLE have scheduled a mid-afternoon news conference in Orlando on the Allied Veterans probe.
Carroll had filed legislation when she was in the House to codify what the Internet café industry could do, but withdrew it because of a possible conflict of interest with her work for Allied Veterans.
It wasn’t clear yet early Wednesday whether Scott planned to immediately name a replacement.