TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned effective immediately as a gambling investigation into a non-profit she once worked with yielded multiple arrests Tuesday.
Carroll was the first African-American woman to serve as lieutenant governor and had faced other problems while in office, but her resignation surprised most when it was revealed Wednesday.
Tuesday, federal authorities arrested multiple people affiliated with Allied Veterans of the World, which runs internet café establishments around the Sunshine State.
A total of 57 arrest warrants in 23 Florida counties and five additional states for people involved int he conspiracy. Governor Rick Scott said he was “periodically updated over the course of this investigation, as it was determined appropriate by law enforcement.”
Carroll and her firm 3N & JC served as a public relations consultant to Allied Veterans in 2009 and 2010 while she served in the Florida House of Representatives. According to the News Service of Florida, Carroll was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement this week about her work with the non-profit.
The Florida Times-Union reported Allied Veterans is “accused of money laundering, using money from a nonprofit for personal gain and misrepresenting the amount donated to charities. Authorities said the group donated just 2 percent of its nearly $300 million in proceeds to charities over five years, according to the Times-Union report.
Carroll had filed legislation when she was in the House to codify what the Internet café industry could do, but withdrew it because of a possible conflict of interest with her work for Allied Veterans.
Governor Scott released a statement late Wednesday that read in part:
“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.”
Governor Scott said he will wait until after the current legislative session to name a new lieutenant governor.
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