Florida's Republican lieutenant governor on Tuesday resigned amid questions about her connection to an Internet gambling firm that that is being investigated for racketeering, money laundering and lying about how much it donated to veterans.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement sources told News 13 that Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carroll submitted her resignation to Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Tuesday after she was interviewed about her links to Allied Veterans of the World, a nonprofit which operates Internet cafes in Florida.
"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 explained to The Florida Times-Union.
Allied Veterans co-owner Jerry Bass, his lawyer and two top officers from Jacksonville's Fraternal Order of Police were arrested on Tuesday after a raid on Internet cafes run by the nonprofit. Investigators suspect that Allied Veterans may have been using the Internet cafes for illegal gambling, money laundering, mail fraud and racketeering. The organization also may have lied when it said that it that it gave 70 percent of $290 million in profit to charity. Documents reportedly showed that only 2 percent were given to qualified nonprofits.
Carroll had been featured in a commercial for Allied Veterans in 2010 and she owned the firm 3N & JC, which did consulting work for the nonprofit organization.
As a member of the state House in 2010, Carroll came under fire for a conflict of interest after she proposed a bill to formally legalize gambling at Internet cafes. She later withdrew the bill and claimed a staffer had filed it without her knowledge.
Carroll was also accused of falsifying documents in 2011 that would have made her firm eligible for Jackson County grants for minority-owned companies, according to the Times-Union. Forged leased documents made it appear that the Clay County firm was located in Jackson County.
In 2012, Carroll responded to rumors that she was having a lesbian affair by asserting that women who look like her "don’t engage in relationships like that."
[Photo: Executive Office of Governor Rick Scott]