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Gov’s office: No immediate plans for Carroll successor

by John Kennedy | March 13th, 2013

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned amid fallout from a wide-ranging investigation into a non-profit organization that operates dozens of internet cafes in Florida.

Carroll submit a two-sentence resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott late Tuesday. In it, she said, “it has been an honor to serve the State of Florida in this capacity.”

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement news conference is expected Wednesday morning in Orlando, where more details of the investigation into Allied Veterans of the World is expected to be released. Scott plans to speak with reporters at the Florida Capitol following that event.

There are no plans to immediately name a successor for Carroll, a Scott spokeswoman said.

Several officials from Allied Veterans and Nelson Cuba, the president of the  Jacksonville Florida Order of Police, were arrested this week on racketeering charges, following a lengthy investigation by the IRS and Secret Service.

Allied Veterans of the World and Affiliates Inc., based in St. Augustine, has operated internet cafes at about 50 sites around the state, mostly in North and Central Florida.

It claimed to have contributed more than $2.5 million to veterans and first responders in 2011, although documents submitted to the state’s  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates charities, provided no detail of the donations.

Carroll that year reported on her state-required financial disclosure form that a public relations firm she and her husband
owned, 3N and JC Corp., had an Allied Veterans site as its major client, although she claimed less than $1,000 in net income from the company.

A Scott spokesman two years ago told the Palm Beach Post that Carroll no longer had any affiliation with Allied Veterans.

In a statement Wednesday, Scott chief-of-staff Adam Hollingsworth said, ““Individuals were arrested Tuesday for racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the World’s illegal gambling companies.

“(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 affiliation with the company from distracting
from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families.

“She made the right decision for the state and her family,” Hollingsworth concluded.

The IRS and Secret Service conducted the investigation with  assistance from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE and sheriff’s offices in Jacksonville and Volusia County.

Allegations against Allied Veterans include money laundering,  siphoning from a nonprofit for personal gain and misrepresenting the amount  donated to charities. The IRS obtained search warrants to pursue the case from a federal judge  in Oklahoma City.

The warrant application reportedly showed Allied Veterans alleging it was part of the Veterans Administration and that 70 percent to 100 percent of the  profits were used for charitable purposes.

Investigators, though, claim the centers are gambling  operations, with charities drawing just 2 percent of the $290 million  earned from 2007 to January 2012.

Instead of raising funds for charities, investigators  said the primary purpose of the sweepstakes centers was to drive a profit of at  least $250 million for Allied, International Internet Technologies and other  for-profit companies and their owners.

Carroll, Florida’s first black lieutenant governor and the first woman elected to that post, had been a popular running mate for Scott.

A former state House member and Navy veteran born in Trinidad, Carroll, 52, has been married 30 years and has three children, including son Nolan Carroll, a defensive back with the Miami Dolphins.

But Carroll’s career began unraveling quickly after a former aide was accused of sharing an illegally recorded conversation with a newspaper reporter. The aide, Carletha Cole, alleged that she was being targeted after having seen the lieutenant
governor and a female travel aide in a “compromising position”  inside Carroll’s office.

Cole also said that Carroll’s chief-of-staff, John Konkus, had regularly recorded office conversations on orders from Scott’s staff. Her own taping of her exchange with him last summer was designed to show how disjointed relations had become between Carroll’s office and Scott’s, she said.

The criminal case against Cole is still pending.

Even with Carroll removed, there is clearly liability for Scott as he readies for next year’s re-election campaign. Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant was quick to use the Carroll case against her boss.

“Floridians expected an administration focused on solving the problems facing Florida’s families, but instead got a scandal plagued governor and a revolving staff door,” Tant said. “Rick Scott and his administration have made a mockery of the governor’s office — embarrassing Floridians while failing to accomplish his legislative priorities.

“Scott campaigned on changing Tallahassee but his first three years have been more of the same corruption and waste that taxpayers have come to expect from Florida Republicans,” Tant concluded.

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32 Responses to “Gov’s office: No immediate plans for Carroll successor”

  1. Mary Says:

    Watch the name Ellyn Bogdanoff closely.

  2. Carol Says:

    I knew she’d eventually resign, there were so many reasons for her to do so. Birds of a feather flock together – who’s next?

  3. Floriduh Says:

    Here’s some ideas for Lt. Governor: Kevin or Mary McCarthy, Warren Newell, Tony Masilotti.

  4. Riddle me this Says:

    Which certain councilman in Riviera Beach and his lobbyist friend have been looking for support to get internet cafes into Riviera Beach and beyond? Too bad this info did not hit yesterday…

  5. becca Says:

    The STENCH just keeps on coming.

  6. becca Says:

    Was her girlfriend involved, too?

  7. Thomas Says:

    I believe Rick Scott will do an exhausitve search for her successor, which will include scouring booking blotters across the state in an effort to find someone with the proper GOP mindset. The only business principle of importance is profit, the ethical considerations aren’t even secondary anymore, it’s what you can get away with.

  8. jac Says:

    Shouldn’t be hard to find someone just like her and Scott.

  9. Peter Schorsch Says:

    How about @repdanayoung as a dark horse candidate to replace Jennifer Carroll?

    wp.me/pShRp-ngD

  10. Settle down Says:

    Peter Schorsch working it hard for his client right now.

  11. timtopper Says:

    This should be the straw that breaks the Rick Scott back. He should have been doing federal jail time, instead he bought his way into Tallahassee.
    Corrupt is as corrupt does. Vote him the rest of the Repub. Clown Posse out of Tallahassee.

  12. TrafficAvenger Says:

    Oh you dukes of doubt. This is the work of the leaders of the G.O.P. in their rebranding efforts for the new image of the G.O.P. Nothing criminal in nature. Just the leaders of the G.O.P. cleaning its own house.

    If you believe this I have a piece of ocean front property in Colorado for sale that fronts on both the Sea of Cortez and Monterey Bay. With a rear yard view of the Gulf of Mexico. This listing also has a private bridge the locales refer to as the “Brooklyn Bridge”. For more info. call 555-555-1212.
    Ask for secret agent Rick Scott for further assistance.

  13. Dick Scott Says:

    Scott is out in 2014, everyone in this state knows it. Repubs need a primary or they will get crushed. Scott is the worst gov in history of US. Also LEGALIZE WEED

  14. Tea Man Says:

    Wow! A corrupt money grubbing republican. I bet she supports the 2nd amendment and loves Jesus, so I will continue to support her and the greater republican cause.

  15. NFG Says:

    Nothing much except to add Ive been in S.FL

  16. Searcher1 Says:

    Another one BITES THE DUST…..

  17. NFG Says:

    continue… since 1970s and this make believe Gov. and his cohorts are the worst ever.

  18. Just Say'n Says:

    This comes as quite a shock – who knew we had a Lt. Gov? What in the world does this person do? Here’s an idea – let’s don’t fill the position and save the taxpayers some money.

  19. DavidW Says:

    Maybe Scott can borrow Romney’s binders full of woman in looking for a successor?

  20. spence Says:

    The price of the Governor’s seat? Ask Ricky–it’s going to be around 100 million likely this time around…

  21. FLAMINGOPKQUEEN Says:

    Yes, the smell of her Rethuglican stench..

  22. Just Wunderin' Says:

    Maybe Allen West is available.

  23. The flip side Says:

    Let’s take Allison Tant’s quote and change a couple of words:

    “Obama campaigned on changing Washington but his first four years have been more of the same corruption and waste that taxpayers have come to expect from Democrats.”

    100 percent true!!!!!!

  24. mary Says:

    Sorry flip side your wrong. The president hasn’t been able to do much because the Repugs didn’t like him and said NO to everything he has tried to get passed. The fact that he’s black hasn’t been good for him because the south is still mad for losing 3 x’s. He is not corrupt but has to go the back door (hint )to get things done. And SS is not an entiltement, but Congress benifits are. Why aren’t we more outraged about that.

  25. Janise Says:

    I don’t want to bring race into it so I won’t.

  26. Carol Says:

    Looking for a replacement for Carroll is going to take a binder or two and a few rocks to search under.

  27. truth2013 Says:

    is any surprised?

  28. Deplorable Says:

    I hope the voting populus has a memory in 2014. If this clown, and his equally corrupt minions, leave our state and never ever grace us with their presence again…it’ll be too soon. Hell, even Charlie Crist looks good now…sad commentary on the intelligence of Florida voters.

  29. nemo Says:

    I’m not sure what the Lt. Gov does, it seems that she also had no clue.Any politican, of either party, is going to steal…it’s why they become politicans.

    This state, as well as, all the other states are being run by criminals. The time for term limits is long past due. From Obama, down to local nobodys, they are all afraid of term limits.

  30. Delray Bob Says:

    Isn’t Mary McCarty still in prison for corruption?

  31. e marketing software Says:

    I love anything & everything that is written well… yeah you got some good content going on there for sure.

  32. Outstanding Golden Retriever Labrador Retriever Stuff Says:

    I rarely leave a response, however after looking at through a ton of comments here Gov

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