Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll announced her resignation Wednesday, a day after she was questioned by authorities investigating an Internet cafe company that she once represented.
Carroll’s resignation followed the arrest on Tuesday on racketeering and money laundering charges of various people affiliated with Allied Veterans of the World, which runs Internet café establishments around the state. The industry says it allows people to partake in sweepstakes, but critics say the establishments are basically gaming parlors.
Carroll and her firm 3N and JC, served as a public relations consultant to the company in 2009 and 2010 while she was in the House, and Scott chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth said Carroll was interviewed by officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about that work.
“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,” Hollingsworth said in a statement. “She made the right decision for the state and her family.”
Here is a running compilation of reactions to this stunning news.
Senator Andy Gardiner:
“Jennifer Carroll is a very dear friend and anytime you see a friend go through something difficult, your heart goes out to them. I think she did probably what was the right thing to keep the governor’s agenda moving forward. And so it won’t be a distraction. But it still hurts. It hurts for her, it hurts for her family.”
Senator John Thrasher:
“I’m sad for Jennifer Carroll. She is a good friend and someone I’ve known for a longtime.”
Representative Perry Thurston:
“I’m very saddened by it. I wish the best to her and her family.”
Representative Dana Young:
“She’s going to definitely be missed in the Tampa Bay community because of her strong advocacy on behalf of the military and MacDill Air Force Base. We will miss her.”
Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant:
“Floridians expected an administration focused on solving the problems facing Florida’s families, but instead got a scandal plagued Governor and a revolving staff door. Rick Scott and his administration have made a mockery of the Governor’s office — embarrassing Floridians while failing to accomplish his legislative priorities. Scott campaigned on changing Tallahassee but his first three years have been more of the same corruption and waste that taxpayers have come to expect from Florida Republicans.”
Florida GOP Chair Lenny Curry:
“Lt. Gov. Carroll has been a great leader for our party and our state. She was a terrific advocate for Florida’s military and economic development efforts. Her resignation is disappointing, but she made the right decision to protect both her family and the work she has done to move our state forward over the last few years.”