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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fasano, Richter bump heads over hearing with Citizens chief



Sen. Mike Fasano believes the head of Citizens Property Insurance should appear before the Senate's Banking and Insurance Committee to answer questions about recently announced policy changes.

But Sen. Garrett Richter, the chairman of the committee, has another idea. He said he'll ask Fasano to submit a list questions that Citizens president Scott Wallace can respond to in writing. Richter wouldn't commit to having Wallace attend an upcoming meeting, saying he isn't sure there will be time to fit in a guest.

Wrong answer, Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said.

"What Sen. Richter is doing is a cop-out, and he is avoiding his responsibility," Fasano said.

Some Citizens policyholder were told their coverage will no longer include carports and screened porches, Fasano said. Meanwhile, he believes the replacement costs for homes is being over-estimated, resulting in higher premiums. He sent Richter, R-Naples, a letter this morning requesting that he ask Wallace to attend a committe meeting so he can address these concerns.

Richter told the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau that Fasano has "various, valid concerns" and Citizens should respond. But not necessarily in the manner Fasano requested.

Richter said he will send Fasano a response letter asking him to submit questions for Wallace, which he'll then pass along. But Fasano said he won't back down from his request to address Citizens officials in person during a committee meeting. He said he is prepared to call out Citizens representatives if he sees them in the audience.

“I would encourage them to be prepared to answer the questions," Fasano said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 2:37pm]


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