Scott Gets Final Decision on Fine for Lt. Gov.
Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has described her exit from office more than two years ago as a "knee jerk reaction" by Gov. Rick Scott.
Now, Scott will get the final say in Carroll having to pay a $1,000 fine to resolve allegations she did not properly report income from consulting work that led to her sudden resignation.
The state Commission on Ethics on Friday unanimously, and without comment, agreed to support the fine as part of an agreement with Carroll.
The fine now awaits formal approval from Scott, as corrections to her improper paperwork were made after Carroll ran with Scott in 2010, an ethics commission spokeswoman said.
Scott's office declined to comment on the agreement and fine.
The governor's office, however, issued a statement Friday thanking Carroll for her service.
"Jennifer Carroll made the right decision for her family by resigning," Scott spokeswoman Jeri Bustamante said in an email.
Carroll, who did not appear at Friday's meeting, signed the recommended order July 6. She represented a Northeast Florida district in the state House before getting elected with Scott.
Lawyer Melody Hadley --- who serves as an "advocate" for the ethics commission --- said the agreement acknowledges that Carroll violated the state Constitution by filing an inaccurate financial disclosure form in 2010. Carroll later submitted paperwork disclosing the "missing income information," Hadley added.
Carroll initially reported receiving less than $1,000 in income from her consulting company, rather than the $16,047 of net income that Carroll earned through 3N. & J.C. Corp. that year.
Carroll resigned in 2013 amid revelations that the company, which she co-owned, provided consulting services for Allied Veterans of the World, the entity at the center of an investigation into illegal gambling and other crimes in the Internet cafe industry. Carroll was never charged in connection with the case and has denied any wrongdoing.
Carroll in June called for an apology from Scott for "his knee jerk reaction" in pushing her out of office without evidence when reports arose about her past work for Allied Veterans of the World.
State investigators had also looked into the role Carroll's legislative office played in gambling legislation that might have benefited Allied Veterans. Carroll contends that the bill was mistakenly filed by an aide who didn't get final approval from Carroll, and that Carroll thought it was a "shell bill" that did not include actual language.
The bill was quickly withdrawn, before it was formally introduced.
Hadley wrote June 10 that Carroll's "involvement with the filing of HB 1185 was a cause for concern but for the majority of the testimony saying that it was an accident and that there is no evidence that she participated in drafting it."