Now Citizens Insurance Board Wants to Know Why Internal Watchdog Team Was Fired

By: Jim Turner | Posted: November 21, 2012 3:55 AM

Carlos Lacasa

Citizens Chairman Carlos Lacasa on August 17, 2012.

Time has been set aside at the next Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board of governors meeting for the president of the state-backed agency to explain personnel changes that are now under investigation by the chief inspector general’s office.

Board Chairman Carlos Lacasa advised Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway on Tuesday that the first hour of the Nov. 27 board workshop will available for a report on why the corporate integrity team was dismantled this summer.

When first reported, the termination of the four investigators and dismantling of the team were deemed a means to restructure how internal problems and fraud were handled.

Lacasa said that while many of the reports about the dismantling of the Office of Internal Auditor team have been “incomplete and inaccurate,” there needs to be “full and fair vetting of all relevant facts.”

“I am particularly concerned by the questions raised regarding the timing of the changes made in OIA with respect to the investigation presented to the Audit Committee last week,” Lacasa wrote.

On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott directed Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel to study the termination of the four members of the watchdog team.  

Scott’s comments were spurred by a report released Nov. 16 that claimed that the integrity team was investigating how leadership at Citizens handled a number of internal issues, including allegations of sexual harassment, indecent drunken behavior in public, questionable payments and falsified documents.

Lacasa, in a letter to Gilway, stated that the report should include:

• The origin of the complaint and initiation of the investigation.

• A detailed chronology of the investigative process including the issuance of the draft and final report, and the role of various parties in conducting and finalizing the investigation.

• A timeline of all events surrounding OIA’s restructuring and the basis for the actions taken.

Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who has repeatedly questioned lavish travel expense reports and proposed rate hikes, has said the dismantled team was being used as a “scapegoat.”

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (1)

8:59AM NOV 22ND 2012
Because Citizen's was being run like an ogliogarchic business, just like the Governor and Republican legislature want.

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