Two groups and one Senator are asking Gov. Rick Scott to look deeper into why Citizens Property Insurance Corp. fired its entire Office of Corporate Integrity unit this month.
On Monday, the leaders of Integrity Florida and Policyholders of Florida fired off a letter to Scott, stating that Citizens’ recent decision to disband its corporate integrity unit was “incomprehensible.”
“Abusing travel expenditures is unacceptable, but gutting the watchdog inside of the so-called people’s insurer of last resort is incomprehensible,” wrote Integrity Florida director Dan Krassner and Policyholders of Florida founder Sean Shaw. “We find it especially troubling that the terminated employees were asked to sign confidentiality agreements. It certainly gives a perception of corruption.”
Scott has also said he was concerned by Citizens’ decision to fire four corporate watchdogs, even as internal complaints of waste, fraud and abuse are on the rise.
Citizens president Barry Gilway said the state-run insurer is realigning its integrity efforts in order to beef up forensic fraud detection, and it has put out job postings for new ethics officers. But the corporate integrity team was disbanded before any forensic accountants were hired.
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, also asked the governor to probe the firings, which he called shocking.
“The Office of Corporate Integrity should be the watchdogs, not the scapegoat,” Fasano wrote in a letter to Scott.
Read the letters from Integrity Florida, Policyholders of Florida and Sen. Fasano, below: