Florida Lt Gov. Jennifer Carroll, the first African American to be elected to a statewide office, abruptly resigned on March 13.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Carroll resigned from office after law enforcement officials questioned her about ties to a veteran’s charity that is the centerpiece of a $300 million illegal gambling investigation. State law enforcement officials would not comment on whether or not Carroll would be facing criminal charges in the investigation nor would Gov. Rick Scott comment on the investigation.
Carroll issued a statement to the media on March 13 about her sudden resignation, in which she stated that she is not being targeted by law enforcement. Scott spoke to the media to explain his right hand woman's sudden resignation. He said:
She resigned, and she did the right thing for her state and for her family.
Scott also told the press that he would not name a replacement for Carroll until the end of the legislative session in May.
At the heart of Carroll's resignation is a Florida law enforcement investigation into her connections with Allied Veterans of the World, a non-profit that according to the Tampa Bay Times operates a chain of internet sweepstakes cafes across the state. The cafes sell Internet time for entries into sweepstakes on machines resemble to look like slots. Two days before she resigned, 60 people associated with the company were arrested and charged with illegal gambling, racketeering and money laundering.
In a written statement, Carroll insisted that she will cooperate with the investigation and maintained that she is not the target of law enforcement officials. She wrote:
I have and will continue to fully cooperate with any investigation. Although I do not believe I or my company are targets of the investigation, I could not allow my company's former affiliation with Allied Veterans to distract from the administration's important work for the families of Florida.