Watchdog: Accountability

Ethics investigation against Florida-run insurer underway

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Watchdog,Florida,Kelly Cohen,Ethics,Accountability,Miami,Insurance Industry

An ethics investigation has been opened into a Florida insurer.

Bruce Meeks, the inspector general at the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., is investigating employees who leave to go work for companies to whom the insurer gives its contracts, according to the Miami Herald.

Meeks was asked by the chief executive officer of Citizens to conduct the investigation.

The request comes in the wake of a Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times report on the recent exodus of Citizens executives who have left the agency to go work for vendors.

Florida law prohibits employees responsible for a contract from leaving a state agency to go work for a company that holds the contract. This law however only applies to Citizens' senior executives and board members, who say "there is no ethical breach when an employee with oversight of a company contract takes a job at that company but handles other matters," the Herald reported.

The Herald/Times investigation found at least three senior executives at Citizens in charge of multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to private companies went on to work for those companies just months later.

The agency is currently sitting on a $7.6 billion cushion, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Read the full article here.|

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Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner