Florida taxpayers spent nearly $2.4 million last year to provide round-the-clock security protection for Gov. Rick Scott and to protect out-of-state elected officials visiting the Sunshine State.
Security for the governor cost $1.6 million between July 1, 2013 and June 30 of this year, slightly less than the year before, according to the report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. First Lady Ann Scott's security cost $381,000, compared to $225,000 the year before.
The biggest surprise in the report was a $27,000 expenditure to provide six days of security last May for Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. An FDLE spokeswoman, Samantha Andrews, said the reason for the security was a threat against the lieutenant governor. She provided no other immediate details. That was the first week immediately following the end of the 2014 legislative session.
By law, Lopez-Cantera is entitled to a Florida Highway Patrol trooper for his security and transportation, but FHP said he declined that detail when he took office in February.
FDLE agents also provided security on three occasions in the past year for Attorney General Pam Bondi that cost a total of about $4,000, and five times for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at a cost of about $6,400.