Citizens Insurance report shows employees watching porn, gambling on the job

Citizens Insurance releases report to public

TAMPA - Citizens Insurance is airing its human resources dirty laundry.

"How did these people get hired in the first place?  But that being said, they got caught in a net.  They're dealing with that catch the best they can," said USF Business Ethics Lecturer Sharon Hanna-West.

The state-backed insurer released the 28-page internal audit to the public detailing dozens of complaints made by employee via a phone hotline. The substantiated claims include gambling and viewing pornography at work, misusing Citizens company credit cards, bank fraud, and other ethics violations.

"There's been a culture that's there that has been troubling. I don't know if that culture still persists. I think it's more of a culture of the past, that's my understanding.  There have been some serious efforts to try to reform that," said Representative Will Weatherford, a Republican from Wesley Chapel.

A Citizens spokesperson says the nearly 500 claims date back to 2008 and the insurance company fired 51 people after a full investigation.

The report comes after allegations last summer that employees used company credit cards to pay for vacations.

"Our marching orders now are that if we're going to err, we're going to err on the side of transparency. These are not new cases. These are not new revelations. They've been out there for a long time," said Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier.

Whether or not coming clean will play in Citizens' favor or damage their already besmirched reputation, is yet to be seen.

"When you handle it this way, when you're honest, the public is more apt to forgive and forget," said Hanna-West.

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