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Sink sat on Sykes Enterprises' board when state sued

Democrat Alex Sink says the big difference between her and Republican rival Rick Scott in the gubernatorial race is that she has ``never been associated with any whiff of scandal, corruption or cheating the government.''

But a decade ago, Sink sat on the board of a Tampa-based call-center operator, Sykes Enterprises, a company sued by Florida's state investment fund and by thousands of shareholders for giving them ``knowingly inflated'' financial information.

In court records, Sykes said that it was the victim of vague and complicated accounting rules, but the company ultimately settled the 10,000-member class-action lawsuit in 2000 for $30 million.

Sink, now Florida's chief financial officer, says the Sykes civil lawsuit issue pales in comparison to Scott's business scandal at Columbia/HCA. The hospital chain, which Scott founded and ran, was the target of a criminal probe that ultimately resulted in a record $1.7 billion Medicare fraud fine in 1997. More here.