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BREAKING: Lt. Gov. Carroll resigns

By: JORGE BONILLA

 

CarrollLieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll has resigned, two days after an FDLE probe into her involvement with Allied Veterans Of The World, a non-profit organization that operates internet cafés.

Per the Florida-Times Union:

Rick Scott tapped Carroll, a Navy veteran, to be his running mate during a 2010 news conference outside Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

Allied Veterans is accused of money laundering, using money from a nonprofit for personal gain and misrepresenting the amount donated to charities. Authorities say the group donated just 2 percent of its $290 million in proceeds to charities over about five years. They also say the former president received more than $1.5 million and the national commander got $250,000 from the organization.

A firm Carroll owned, 3N & JC, did consulting work for Allied Veterans, and she starred in a commercial for the nonprofit in 2010.

In addition, as a member of the House, the Clay County Republican filed legislation that would have formally legalized the industry, which currently falls into a gray are in state law. Internet cafes operate under Florida’s sweepstakes laws, but opponents deem them illegal gambling.

Carroll later acknowledged the conflict of interest and withdrew the bill, which she said was filed by a staffer without her knowledge. The move came as the Jacksonville City Council was considering banning the machines. The city would later become the first in Florida to regulate the cafes.

The article further notes that this case has brought a lot of heat on Gov. Scott’s administration, and that this is not Carroll’s first faux pas.

The Tampa Bay Times‘ coverage includes a statement from Gov. Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth:

Individuals were arrested Tuesday for a racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the Worlds illegal gambling companies. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010. She was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with the company. Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliations with the company from distraction from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families. She made the right decision for the state and her family.

Gov. Scott is scheduled to deliver remarks on the Carroll resignation later today.  The resignation is already fueling speculation as to her successor, and there are already reports of individuals that have called to inquire and/or jump into the fray.  Gov. Scott is trying his best to tamp that down, despite pressure to fill an office and a campaign ticket.  Others will renew long-standing calls for the abolition of the office, and perhaps that proposal may get a closer look this time around.

May Jennifer Carroll’s resignation serve as a cautionary tale; and as a call to eternal vigilance against the scourge of cronyism.  Carroll’s potential was once limitless, and there was much talk of higher office.  But not anymore.  Having run out of time and chances, Jennifer Carroll crashes down to Earth.


 



About author

Jorge Bonilla

Jorge Bonilla is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

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