By the time Jennifer Carroll was sworn in as Florida’s 18th Lt. Governor. There were plenty of red flags in her financial disclosure that should have raised concerns for Rick Scott and his administration.
As a state legislator, Carroll failed to disclose a list of her assets for two years, and for one of the years, a list of her debts. Integrity Florida calls the filings just the beginning of one error after another.
“How do you have a multiple mortgages, but you don’t list any real estate. How do you go from your first term in the state legislature to the second term and show an increase of net worth of more than twenty million dollars. I mean questions should have been asked long ago.”, says Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida.
Carroll began her legislative career worth a half million dollars. The next year it jumped to two point three million. She mistakenly then listed her assets at 23 million. Another filing shows her net worth at 202 million. “Just some of the messiest forms I’ve ever seen from a public official.”, adds Dan Krassner.
The problem is that under current Florida law, the Ethics Commission has no power to do anything when they see such grave errors or intentional omissions. “They’re responsible for what they report on there and we didn’t have any authority to audit those forms.”, says Phil Claypool, former Ethics Commission Attorney.
The Rick Scott campaign used two Washington DC firms to vet Carroll. A very high level staffer to Rick Scott campaign told us it was quote “pretty hard to believe” the mistakes were missed.
Advocates say, the Carroll case alone is reason for the Ethics Commission to have more power to investigate blatant errors and mistakes.