In light of the newly released Inspector General’s report regarding excessive travel by some Citizens board members and executive staff, State Representative Mike Fasano calls for the resignation of all board members. Additionally, he asks Florida’s governor, chief financial officer, president of the Senate and speaker of the House to appoint new board members who will be fiscally responsible. Rep. Fasano asked for an investigation last year when news reports first brought the extraordinary travel expenses to light.
“Citizens is continually looking for ways to increase premiums, reduce coverage and push its customers out,” Fasano states. “At the same time board members and executives are traveling literally around the world, staying at the finest hotels and dining on first class food, all at its customers’ expense.”
The governor’s inspector general’s report details the travel, which is far in excess of what state employees are allowed. For example, a Citizens’ board member upgraded a hotel room in Bermuda to a cost well over $600 per night. Additionally, executives dined on a meal in London that cost nearly $80 per person.
“These executives spent almost as much on one meal as some state employees are allowed per day in per diem,”Rep. Fasano said. “There is obviously a culture at Citizens that it is okay to spend its customers’ dollars in such a blatantly wasteful fashion. The only way to change that culture is to clean house. That cleaning must begin at the top. The Citizens board sets policy and creates a climate which directs this company. It is time for a new climate and a new direction.”