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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ex-Lt. Gov. Carroll says working for Scott was 'bad' for minorities

Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll continues to make noise about her rocky tenure as Gov. Rick Scott's No. 2, including new references to Scott having had "issues with HCA and Medicaid fraud."  

Carroll was on a Cocoa Beach radio station Monday where she cited "wrongdoing" by Scott's chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, and a "good ol' boy system" where it was difficult for minorities to work. She appeared on WMEL's "Seeta and Friends" program, hosted by a fellow native of Trinidad, Seeta Begui.

"I gave him 100 percent of my loyalty, even though we didn't know each other prior to running, and he had his issues with HCA and Medicaid fraud. I never asked him a question about that. Never," Carroll said. "I still followed their rules and so forth, and when it came time that I would have expected him to give me the common courtesy that he gave to his male counterparts there, his chief of staff, who had wrongdoing, he supported and defended them. Me, with no wrongdoing, (he) utilized an excuse and asked me to leave office for no reason."

Hollingsworth acknowledged in December that while in private employment, he falsely claimed a degree from the University of Alabama before he obtained it. Scott publicly supported Hollingsworth at the time. Hollingsworth helped to force Carroll from office on March 12, 2013.

Carroll continued: "It's bad enough, particularly for minorities, when you are in the good old boy system, you're trying to walk that fine line because, you know, there are little whispers that they give. You know, if you go off too much, then there's a B-I-T-C-H. If you don't do enough, you're a wimp."

Carroll, a Republican and the first African-American lieutenant governor in Florida history, wants Scott to apologize for forcing her to resign and said she plans to write a tell-all book about her experience. She was forced out when officials learned that prior to becoming lieutenant governor, she was a paid consultant to a veterans' group accused of having ties to the illegal Internet cafe gaming industry.

In response to Carroll's statements, Scott's press secretary, John Tupps, said Tuesday: “Jennifer Carroll made the right decision for her family by resigning. We appreciate her service to the state.” A short time later, Tupps provided a longer statement, which read: "Let’s remember Jennifer Carroll was connected to an organization that was at the center of a multi-state criminal conspiracy at the time, and we are confident she made the right choice for her family by resigning."

The Associated Press reported recently that Carroll failed to report nearly $100,000 in income from Allied Veterans of the World, and changed two financial disclosure statements to include the payments after she was questioned by FDLE agents.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 4:47pm]


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