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Colleagues express sadness over Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resignation

3:23 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The abrupt resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll as the result of an extensive Internet gambling investigation has shocked everyone at the state Capitol.

But there's a common reaction among lawmakers, especially those who worked with her in the Florida House before she became lieutenant governor in 2011.

Republicans and Democrats are expressing sadness for Carroll and saying it's a painful way to leave office after a long career in public service.

Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, says the news really rocked her.

"I've just been kind of reeling over the events of both days because there are a number of Jacksonville or local people involved and so it's really sad for me and, of course, as I've told others, my first reaction was to pray for she and her family because it's a pretty heavy load."

Carroll resigned Tuesday after it came to light that she handled public relations for the nonprofit group Allied Veterans of the World in 2009 and 2010 when she was a member of the Florida House.

Allied Veterans of the World is accused of racketeering and money laundering and failing to contribute proceeds to help veterans even though that was supposed to be its main mission.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, calls Carroll a great friend.

"I was terribly saddened. Jennifer Carroll is a great friend of mine. We've lived in the same area for a long time together. I know her family, her husband. She had been a great public servant so it's saddened me that she had to leave under those circumstances, but confident that she'll bounce back and things will be good for her."

Gov. Rick Scott says he won't pick a new lieutenant governor until after the legislative session ends on May 3.

Some are questioning that decision because a lieutenant governor can sometimes prove helpful in selling the governor's agenda to state lawmakers during the session.

But Sen. Thrasher does not think that choice will hurt the governor.

"I think he'll look hard but I think he's doing the right thing to take his time and make sure that he makes a good decision and that decision is helpful to him, but also helpful to the state of Florida and that he finds someone that could be governor."

First Coast News

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