TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll said Thursday she had no idea law enforcement was investigating a veterans charity accused of running illegal slot machine-style casinos until two agents walked into her office last month.
Carroll said the agents told her she wasn't under investigation and asked her about Allied Veterans of the World, a group she had done public relations for before becoming lieutenant governor. When the agents walked out about 20 minutes later, Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff was waiting outside her office. He told her Scott wanted her to resign. She said yes — there was no discussion, no hesitation.
"In my military time, when the commander in chief makes a demand or a request, you say 'Aye, aye sir,' and you march on. And that's what I did," the retired Navy officer told The Associated Press in her first comments about the investigation. "I thought it would be better to remove myself from being a distraction."
Carroll wanted to make clear she did nothing wrong. She said was paid $6,000 a month to do public relations work for Allied Veterans and had nothing to do with the alleged gambling.
Nearly 60 people have been charged in the Allied Veterans case, accused of running a $300 million gambling ring. Investigators said Allied Veterans spent just 2 percent of its profits on veterans charities while its leaders spent millions on boats, real estate and sports cars.
Carroll said her work was typical of what she would charge other clients. She said that when she was in the Legislature, Allied Veterans never asked her to sponsor bills that would benefit the group.
She said Scott was aware of the work when he asked her to be his running made in 2010.