Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

North Carolina sheriff blocked from delivering subpoena to embattled nonprofit CEO

“The gate keeper would not let them in,” the staffer said.
Tiffany Carr, former CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, purchased this 6,665-square-foot home in the Blue Ridge Mountains in August 2018 for $1.9 million, the same year she reported $4.5 million in wages that included cashing in millions in paid time off.  This is her home near Cashiers, North Carolina, on March 1, 2020.
Tiffany Carr, former CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, purchased this 6,665-square-foot home in the Blue Ridge Mountains in August 2018 for $1.9 million, the same year she reported $4.5 million in wages that included cashing in millions in paid time off. This is her home near Cashiers, North Carolina, on March 1, 2020. [ MARY ELLEN KLAS | Times/Herald ]
Published Mar. 6, 2020
Updated Mar. 6, 2020

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House of Representatives has yet again tried — and failed — to get the former head of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to submit to questioning.

When a process server and the sheriff of Macon County tried to subpoena Tiffany Carr at her Cashiers, North Carolina, home Thursday, they couldn’t get through the gate.

A staffer from the Florida House’s Office of General Counsel spoke to the process server in North Carolina on Friday and was told that even with the sheriff’s escort, they were unable to get through the gate.

“The gate keeper would not let them in,” the staffer said.

Related: Florida sues nonprofit and its former CEO who was paid $7.5M

The House voted Thursday to use “any means” to subpoena Carr and give her one week to appear. The chamber’s Public Integrity and Ethics committee is investigating allegations that Carr, her staff and members of the board of directors conspired to inflate her salary and defraud the state by paying her more than $7.5 million over three years.

Tiffany Carr, former president and CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, speaks at a 2009 news conference.
Tiffany Carr, former president and CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, speaks at a 2009 news conference. [ PAUL LAMISON | Tampa Bay Times ]

Because the subpoenas were sent by the House, not a court-ordered warrant, law enforcement was not authorized to enter Carr’s property.

While the House is in session, lawmakers have the power to send subpoenas, but after session ends March 13, it can only enforce subpoenas by court order.

Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, said it’s likely that a court order will come soon, though it will likely come from the Attorney General’s office or the Executive Office of the Governor.

On Wednesday, the Department of Children and Families and the Florida Attorney General launched two legal actions against the coalition, Carr and members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence board alleging they conspired to defraud the state to pad Carr’s compensation package, demanding that millions in taxpayer money be repaid and freezing the assets of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Related: The homes that domestic abuse funds bought for nonprofit's ex-CEO, Tiffany Carr

“We are all rowing in the same direction so we’ll work it out,” Leek said. “We’re 10 yards down a 100-yard field.”

He added that the civil suits were a “necessary first step” and that down the road, it is likely the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or FBI will impose criminal penalties.

The House had previously attempted to serve Carr “at the business address where she is listed as a registered agent but that service was refused.” It has also tried to reach her at her homes in Tallahassee and North Carolina but was unsuccessful.

This week, after the Times/Herald attempted to reach Carr at her North Carolina mountain home in Cashiers, the House hired a process server to serve her with the subpoena there.

The House also posted a subpoena to Carr’s beachfront home in Port St. Joe, now under reconstruction after being damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

If Carr doesn’t respond by the March 12 deadline, she will be held in contempt, and the House can impose a monetary fine.