Rick Scott’s hypocrisy gets more comical by the day.
Yesterday, he released a new ad targeting Charlie Crist’s wife, calling on her to release her taxes because he, quote, “believes transparency matters.”
In fact, transparency matters so much to Rick Scott that when a whistleblower, who had worked at the Department of Economic Opportunity for 30 years, tried to expose systemic fraud that improperly inflicted economic hardship on 19,000 Floridians, this is how Scott’s DEO responded: They fired her. She filed a lawsuit and won her case as the jury ruled that the Governor’s administration had fired her in retaliation for trying to uncover the DEO’s wrongdoing.
So does Rick Scott really believe transparency matters? Maybe he should just plead the 5th on that one…
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Whistleblower Uncovered ‘Systemic’ Fraud Within Florida’s Department Of Economic Opportunity; Alerted Supervisors And Rick Scott’s Office – Was Told To Drop The Investigation. According to the Miami Herald “Whistleblower on Florida economic agency fraud wins lawsuit, attorney says A former employee of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity who uncovered ‘systemic’ fraud within the agency has won a whistleblower lawsuit against the state, her attorney said Monday. The whistleblower, 30-year state employee Dianne Parcell, discovered 97 instances in which the agency had inappropriately reported Floridians to collection agencies for alleged unemployment overpayments. Parcell reported the findings to her supervisors and the governor’s office, but was told to drop her investigation, she said.” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
- Whistleblower Was Placed On Administrative Leave One Day After Reporting Systemic Fraud At Department Of Economic Opportunity; Was Later Fired. According to the Miami Herald ” Parcell submitted a whistleblower letter in August 2012, she said. She was placed on administrative leave the following day and later fired.” [[Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
- Florida Department Of Economic Opportunity Had Wrongly Reported 19,000 Floridians To Collections Agencies. According to the Miami Herald, “The whistleblower, 30-year state employee Dianne Parcell, discovered 97 instances in which the agency had inappropriately reported Floridians to collection agencies for alleged unemployment overpayments.” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
- State Liability For Instances Of Fraud Could Be $1.9 Billion. According to the Miami Herald, “Rice said one woman who had been improperly reported had already demanded $100,000 from the state. She estimated that the overall liability to the state could be as much as $1.9 billion.” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
- Attorney: Improper Reporting To Collections Agencies “Can Severely And Adversely Affect Someone’s Credit Rating, Making It More Difficult To Buy A House Or A Car.” According to the Miami Herald “‘These improper referrals can severely and adversely affect someone’s credit rating, making it more difficult to buy a house or a car,’ Rice said.” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
The Whistleblower Won Her Case In Leon County Circuit Court And Was Awarded More Than $50,000 In Damages According to the Miami Herald “Parcel won her case in Leon County Circuit Court on April 3. A jury awarded her more than $50,000 in damages. Parcell said she was bringing the case to the media not to affect the upcoming governor’s race, but because the 19,000 cases had not yet been resolved.” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]
Whistleblower Dianne Parcel Was A Republican. According to the Miami Herald “‘I don’t have a vendetta against Rick Scott,’ she said. ‘I’m a Republican.’” [Miami Herald, 6/23/14]