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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sink not pleased with McCarty's insurance report timing



UPDATE: Tom Zutell, spokesman in McCarty's office, said the reason it took the insurance commissioner longer than expected to deliver a draft of his report to Sink is that she requested more information after the Cabinet meeting two weeks ago.

After the initial request delivered at the July 28 cabinet meeting, an aide with her office on July 31 sent an e-mail asking for "much more information," according to Zutell. "Our effort to fill the much broader request began on Aug. 3." That gave McCarty and his staff seven days to compile the info in this lengthy report, Zutell said. See the sequence of events here.

It has been two weeks since CFO Alex Sink asked Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to come back to the Cabinet with a reportexplaining McCarty's claims that 40 new insurers with over $4 billion in capital have come to the property insurance market.

Well, he was there this morning with a report. But Sink didn't get a copy of it until 8 a.m. this morning, and apparently McCarty's office left it at her office last night at 8 p.m., after she had left the Capitol for the day. This was not acceptable to the former banking executive, and she made that very clear.

"I'm very disappointed that this information was provided to me at 8 a.m. this morning," she said. "I asked for this information two weeks ago. It still stuns me that your office was working on this late last night when you had two weeks to work on this. I only had about 10 minutes to look at this before Cabinet, and I like to do my homework."

McCarty apologized, explaining the report was "a large undertaking. I apologize, and certainly I look forward to working with your office."

Attorney General Bill McCollum said: "I think this is a very positive report, and I appreciate it."

Gov. Charlie Crist focused his attention on the reduction in property insurance costs for homeowners in Florida since the 2004-05 storms and resulting legislation aimed at cutting insurance rates.



[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:56pm]


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