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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Critics blast Citizens plan to hire $1 million attorney



Troubled Citizens Property Insurance is proposing to spend more than $1 million annually on an attorney who, according to the job description, wouldn't spend much time in a courtroom.

On Friday, the Citizens Board of Governors will decide whether to have West Palm Beach attorney Scott Link oversee all claims litigation and manage the law firms that contract with with the insurance company.

Link's hourly fee is $525 -- and is expected to add up to $1.05 million annually.

Critics say that's an outrageous expense for an entity already besieged by allegations of excessive executive spending. They also note that Link once worked with Tom Grady, a former interim Citizens chief and close ally of Gov. Rick Scott.

"This is another insider government giveaway," said state Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami. "Citizens is subsidizing its friends and family using policy-holders' money."

Neither Link nor Grady not returned calls seeking comment.

Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier said politics did not factor into the recommendation.

"This contract was competitively bid," Peltier said. "The evaluators were folks within Citizens who are on the ground, trying these cases and paying these claims."

Read more here.

[Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 11:18am]


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