Citizens Insurance CEO Barry Gilway defends company pay raises to Florida Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The head of Florida's largest property insurer is defending a decision to hand out big pay raises to his employees.

Citizens Property Insurance CEO Barry Gilway went before Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet on Tuesday.

During his presentation, Gilway was asked questions about double-digit pay raises to top company officials. Gilway was also questioned about company spending that also triggered media coverage.

Scott has demanded that Citizens rescind the pay raises.

But Gilway told the governor he approved the pay raises because Citizens does not pay its top employees anywhere close to what insurance company executives earn.

Citizens currently has nearly 1.3 million policyholders across the state.

Gilway contends that the insurer is finally headed in the right direction and has begun to shrink in size.

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