Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns

The Miami Herald reports:

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned, Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, she was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is assisting in a national probe of Allied Veterans of the World, a Florida-based nonprofit that operates a chain of internet cafes.

Carroll once owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, and she did work for the company at the same time she served in the Florida House.

Gov. Scott will address the media after an afternoon press conference on the matter conducted by law enforcement.

Gov. Rick Scott today made the following statement concerning the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll:

“Local, state and federal law enforcement officials just held a press conference in Orlando, announcing that 57 individuals were charged with illegal activity linked to a $300 million conspiracy orchestrated by Allied Veterans of the World.

“Law enforcement officials executed 57 arrest warrants yesterday [Tuesday, March 12] in 23 Florida counties and five additional states for individuals involved in the Allied Veterans conspiracy. They did a great job on this investigation and we appreciate their work. The joint law enforcement agencies involved put out a press release with further details on this large investigation and they can give you further information about this case.

“I have been periodically updated over the course of this investigation, as it was determined appropriate by law enforcement. Out of respect to their process, that is all I will say about our knowledge of their timeline in this case.

“Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll consulted for this company in 2009 and 2010 when she was serving in the Florida House of Representatives. FDLE interviewed Lt. Gov. Carroll yesterday related to her work for the company.

“Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned yesterday in an effort to keep her former affiliations with the company from distracting from our important work on behalf of Florida families. I will not elaborate on the details of her resignation further, other than to say that she resigned and she made the right decision for the state and her family.

“We appreciate her willingness to step up and serve our state. She was a tireless advocate for Florida’s military and our mission to create more jobs. We are grateful for her service.

“I have asked Let’s Get to Work and Rick Scott for Governor to immediately identify any contributions from Allied Veterans or the affiliated companies named in the investigation. I want funds from these groups to be immediately given to charity. We have zero tolerance for this kind of criminal activity. Period.

“Additionally, we have seen press reports that the Republican Party of Florida accepted $25,000 from Allied Veterans to fund inaugural events when I took office. The Party has no record of that contribution.

“As to the future of the Lt. Gov.’s position, Florida law provides that a Lt. Gov. be in place, but we will not turn our attention to this topic until after the conclusion of the legislative session. I want to say again that: We will not turn our attention to this topic until after the conclusion of the legislative session.

 According to the Allied Veterans of the World website:

In 1979, Commander-in-Chief Harold Grossman and friends from the 451st Bomber Group began meeting with each other to keep in touch. They soon formed the first organized veterans’ group in the state of Florida, the Bomber Group 451st, Inc.

Once Grossman and his friends were recognized as an official veterans’ organization, their mission became clear. Their intentions were to assist veterans and senior citizens in the area through donations and transportation services to the VA hospital. Bomber Group 451st, Inc. carried out their services for the next 10 years.

In 1989, Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. was introduced to the community. It was formed to build on the success of Bomber Group 451st by expanding services to all veterans.

In August of 2004, Commander Grossman passed away. His title of International Commander was retired in his honor. National Commander Jerry Bass now leads Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. & Affiliates in its endeavors to help serve Veterans and First Respondents.

Affiliate locations in Florida continue to follow Commander Grossman’s vision of veterans helping veterans.