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Jennifer Carroll resigns and ethics reform is challenged

Roger Caldwell

Jennifer Carroll resigns and ethics reform is challenged

By Roger Caldwell

     There is something rotten in Governor Scott’s administration and it starts with his Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. The politicians in Florida are embarrassing and corruption is running rampant in the state. Anytime the second in charge of a state is working for a company that is being investigated for illegal activity, there is something drastically wrong with the entire team.

    The Florida Democratic Party released the following statement from party Chairwoman Allison Tant: “Floridians expected an administration focused on solving the problems facing Florida, but instead got a scandal plagued Governor and a revolving staff door. Rick Scott and his administration have made a mockery of the Governor’s office embarrassing Floridians while failing to accomplish his legislative priorities,” says Chairwoman Alison Tant.

    For the last two weeks the Florida legislators have been talking about ethics reform and it appeared that they were working on cleaning up their act. But instead of things getting better it looks like more corruption is being exposed.

    Florida’s Governor’s chief of staff Steve MacNamara was forced to resign when he steered a $5.5 million contract to one of his friends, and we have to ask the question did Governor Rick Scott know anything about this decision. MacNamara also was allowed to influence contracting outcomes and eventually an ethics complaint was filed against him and he resigned.

    At some point, our governor’s decision making and leadership skills must be questioned because corrupt activities continue to flourish in his administration. This is not the first time there was a scandal with Jennifer Carroll. Back in 2011, Carleha Cole, an assistant in Ms. Carroll’s office was arrested and accused of giving a reporter a recorded conversation. Cole’s attorney claims that their client was being set up because she witnessed unprofessional behavior by Carroll and other employees.

    Jennifer Carroll finally resigned following questions by authorities investigating an internet café company that she represented. Authorities claim that the company brought in since 2007 around $300 million, and disguised itself as a non-profit charity for veterans. Only two percent of the money went to the charity and 49 people have been arrested with 7 more wanted.

    The investigation was started in 2009 and last week the arrest warrants were executed in 23 Florida counties, across five other states. “It is shameful that Allied Veterans of the World allegedly attempted to use the guise of a charitable organization to help veterans in order to lend credibility to this $300 million illegal gambling scheme. The Office of Statewide Prosecution will be filing formal charges related to illegal gambling, racketeering and money laundering,” says Attorney General Pam Bondi.

    Last month in February, the ex-chairmen of the Florida Republican Party was indicted on multiple felony charges and defrauding the state with a company and misusing the party’s’ finances. Residents in the state are tired of being embarrassed by the corruption in the Scott administration. As the leader of a party and the state, the governor needs to explain how he allows corrupt people to work for him.

    If the governor continues to pick corrupt politicians  and this keeps happening in his administration, then he needs to step down. The state of Florida deserves transparency and integrity, and that is not happening in the Scott administration. 


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