Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll said Wednesday she won't challenge a preliminary finding by the Commission on Ethics that she twice violated ethics laws by filing inaccurate financial disclosure forms that omitted her income from a veterans' charity.
Carroll also asked for a public apology from Gov. Rick Scott for ending her political career by forcing her to resign in 2013. Here is the statement Carroll provided to reporters:
"As usual, the media head right to the negative rather than what's most important to clear my name of involvement of wrongdoing with Allied Veterans of the World, and that is the commission found no probable cause that I violated the law when my company, 3N & JC Corp., received money from Allied Veterans of the World for public relations work while I was a state legislator. The investigation found no evidence that my company received money from the group to influence my vote or official actions.
"Additionally, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's final investigative summary stated: 'Based upon information obtained pursuant to FDLE's investigation, Carroll's business relationship with Allied Veterans of the World and her subsequent actions to not appear to violate any criminal Florida statute.'
"It is no secret that financial disclosures I filed in 2010 were incorrect, not intentionally. However, once errors were found, it was immediately corrected. This is not anything particular to me; many other elected officials have had to file corrections to their financial disclosures once errors were found. In 2010, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a correction to her financial report when she initially reported she had no savings.
"I do not intend to challenge the ethics commission; their probable cause is based on the fact that I did file a report that was incorrect. I believe they will find that this was not intentional. If they find a reason to fine me for that, so be it. What I would like is a public apology from Governor Scott for his knee-jerk reaction to ask for my resignation where no probable cause or evidence presented itself to implicate me to the issues with Allied Veterans."