Saying the citizens of Florida need assurances that their money is being spent correctly, Gov. Rick Scott wants Citizens Property Insurance to have its own inspector general.
Creating the job will require a change in state law, and Scott says he will make it a priority for the upcoming legislative session. The governor noted that his own chief inspector general is investigating Citizens.
"What I'm worried about is misbehavior, mismanagement," Scott said. "They dismissed their Office of Corporate Integrity. I've asked for two IG investigations. Because this was set up for the benefit of the citizens, taxpayers of the state are taking the risk with this property insurance company and I'm worried about it."
Citizens officials said they were open to the governor's ideas but hadn't been briefed on any proposals.
"Although we cannot comment on legislative proposals we have not seen, we certainly welcome any discussion of ideas for strengthening our current oversight procedures," said Christine Ashburn, Citizens' director of legislative and external affairs.
Lawmakers and watchdog groups applauded Scott's announcement, saying they think the independent auditing and investigative services that an inspector general would provide would benefit Citizens and policyholders.