Posted on March 13, 2013

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll Steps Down

Kevin Robillard, Politico, March 13, 2013

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned Wednesday, two days after state law enforcement officials interviewed her about her work for a nonprofit organization under state and federal investigation.

Carroll’s resignation is a blow to her boss, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who already faces sagging approval ratings and a rebellion on his right over his decision to expand Medicaid ahead of his 2014 reelection bid.

Jennifer Carroll

Jennifer Carroll

A public relations firm Carroll owned did work for Allied Veterans, a group that operated Internet gambling cafes in Florida. Carroll, a naval veteran, also appeared in commercials for the group. Federal agents arrested officials from the nonprofit on Tuesday. Law enforcement officials said the group has dedicated a mere 2 percent of its $290 million in revenue to charity during the past five years.

“Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliation with the company from distracting from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida Families,” Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, told the Florida Times-Union, which first reported the news.

As a black female Republican in statewide office, Carroll’s profile was higher than that of your average Lieutenant Governor. She spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 as a congressional candidate, and co-chaired Mitt Romney’s Black Leadership Council in 2012.

As Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush named her the state’s Veterans’ Affairs Secretary. President George W. Bush appointed her to the National Commission on Presidential Scholars, but she stepped down after a CBS investigation discovered her master’s degree was from a diploma mill. {snip}