The cost of guarding Charlie Crist's new family
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist's marriage to Carole Rome marked more than a major lifestyle change: It also meant increased security responsibilities for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. By law, FDLE must provide security and transportation for "the governor (and) the governor's immediate family."
In a year in which the agency has been forced to shed $18 million and 150 jobs, FDLE agents are providing protection for the first lady and her two children at a cost of about $2,500 a week, even though Mrs. Crist seldom ventures into the public eye and her two children attend school out of state. The total cost of security to taxpayers so far is $57,000 through May 7. The security began last Dec. 12, when the governor and Rome were married at First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg.