A Tallahassee activist is suing Gov. Rick Scott for failing to appoint a new lieutenant governor.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by Barbara Devane, argues that Scott has a legal obligation to name a successor to former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll.
Carroll resigned in March, after being linked to a charity organization at the center of a $300 million multi-state racketeering investigation. She was not accused of wrongdoing.
Scott has said he wants to fill the job, and his office has vetted potential candidates. But the position has remained open.
In the lawsuit, Devane says the vacancy "upsets the order of succession the Legislature established."
"If the Governor (who resigned his previous position as chief executive officer of a company that pled guilty to massive amounts of systemic fraud, including 14 felonies, leading to a historic $1.7 billion fine) resigns amid scandal like his lieutenant or dies, there is not lieutenant governor to fulfill the heavy responsibilities of the office," she wrote.
Devane also notes that the lieutenant governor can take emergency action if the governor is unavailable.
"Thus, at present, if there is another oil spill and the governor is unavailable for whatever reason, the state will be powerless to respond," she wrote.
Devane wants the state Supreme Court to force Scott's hand.
"It is... important to note that Petitioner is not seeking to compel the Governor to choose any particular individual. All Petitioner seeks in this case is an order compelling the Governor to adhere to his duty to make an appointment and do it now."
Devane lobbies for the Florida National Organization for Women and other progressive causes.