Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll announced her resignation Wednesday, just one day after she was questioned by authorities investigating an Internet cafe company that she once represented. While serving as a state lawmaker, Carroll’s ties to the company were also questioned when she proposed a bill that would benefit internet cafes, the AP reports. Carroll, a Navy veteran, had owned a public relations firm that represented that company. This oddly echoes Rick Scott’s affiliations with companies he owned and benefited from, but he then transferred ownership to his wife.
Carroll wrote a letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Scott but it offered no details as to her reason for leaving.
Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, claims she was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with Allied Veterans of the World.
Hollingsworth added that she resigned to ensure her ties to the company would not be a distraction for the administration. Carroll, a Navy veteran, had owned a public relations firm that represented that company.
The AP reports, “The owner of Allied Veterans was arrested Tuesday in Oklahoma on charges of racketeering. He is accused of making $290 million after supplying illegal gambling software in Florida and claiming the games’ proceeds would benefit a veterans group. Oklahoma authorities say the group actually received only 1 percent of the money. Chase Egan Burns, 37, and his wife, 38-year-old Kristin Burns, both face extradition to Florida to face the charges.”
Chase Burns owns International Internet Technologies which is located approximately 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Burns and his wife were arrested after an investigation which spanned over several years and involved the Internal Revenue Service and various law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Florida, including the sheriff’s office in Florida’s Seminole County, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office. According to the AP, Chase Burns was released from the Caddo County jail Tuesday afternoon on a $500,000 bond. He denied any wrongdoing.
Burns told The Oklahonian on Monday before he turned himself in, “What we do is legal.”
Allied Veterans’ telephone number has been disconnected. The Associated Press sent out numerous emails to an address listed on the group’s website to no avail.
Via the AP:
The former lieutenant governor — who is the mother of Miami Dolphins defensive back Nolan Carroll — has been named in previous scandals.
Last year, a former aide, Carletha Cole, claimed to have found Carroll in a compromising position with a travel aide inside’s Carroll’s office.
Cole is charged with violating state law for allegedly giving a recording of a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff to a newspaper reporter.
Cole says she was ordered by Ramos to find adjoining hotel rooms for Carroll and Ramos when they traveled. Carroll has said previously the allegations are an attempt by Cole and her attorney to get the criminal charges against Cole dropped.
Carroll, a married mother of three, became the brunt of late-night talk show hosts when she defended herself against the allegations, telling a Tampa Bay area TV station that black women who look like her “don’t engage in relationships like that.” She later apologized for the remarks, which implied that black lesbians are not attractive.