Gov. Rick Scott is seeking to find out why the state-backed insurer fired its corporate integrity team.
The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has made insurance news by throwing in his support for the efforts to investigate why the corporate integrity team was let go from the state’s insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
The Chief Inspector General, Melinda Miguel, has now been assigned to investigate the event.
On Monday, Governor Scott directed the Chief Inspector General to look into the termination of the watchdog team – which had been made up of four members – following the release of an insurance news report on Friday. It stated that the integrity team at Citizens had been performing an investigation into the way in which the insurer of last resort’s leadership had managed a series of internal issues. This included cases of indecent public drunken behavior, sexual harassment allegations, falsified documents, and questionable payments.
The insurance news revealed in this report “raises new concerns”, said the Governor.
Governor Scott stated that “Given the appearance of impropriety, I request that you conduct a thorough review of the terminations to determine whether any of them were retaliatory in nature.”
Calls for an investigation into the closure of the department had already been made back in October. They were put forward by Integrity Florida’s executive director, Dan Krassner, as well as Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey), who had been a state senator at the time, in addition to the founder of Policyholders of Florida, Sean Shaw.
At that time, Barry Gilway, the president of Citizens, was urged by the governor to apply “greater caution with future modifications affecting internal investigations, audits and compliance.” Gilway made insurance news in June when he took his position as the insurer’s president. It was at that time that he was presented with the goal of massively reducing the size of the overextended state-backed insurer.
One of the strictest watchdogs of Citizens, Fasano, has been repeatedly making insurance news by questioning the insurer’s decisions, such as in the case of lavish expense reports for travel and proposals for sizeable rate hikes.