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Gov. Scott calls for probe of insurer

Nov. 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling for an investigation into Citizens Property Insurance Corp. after it abruptly closed its Office of Corporate Integrity.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday office staff were fired in October after compiling a 73-page report that documented a long list of misconduct at the firm.

The allegations reviewed by the newspaper include the revelation the company's former chief administration officer, Susanne Murphy was discovered, after years of working for the company, as not being licensed to practice law in Florida.

Instead of being fired, she was allowed to resign and continued to receive pay and benefits for four months after leaving her job, the in-house report said.

Other employees left the company due to misconduct, but were given handsome severance packages, anyway, the Herald said.

The report also documents results of investigations by private law firms that appear swept under the rug and other forms of favoritism.

One inebriated executive who took off her bra to dance on a table at a company retreat at Coyote Ugly was given a warning, while another who used company time to promote a line of female sex toys was fired, the report says.

"In light of this report, the timing of the firings [of the Office of Corporate Integrity staff] raises new concerns," Scott said in a letter to the state's chief inspector general.

"Given the appearance of impropriety, I request that you conduct a thorough review of the terminations to determine whether any of them were retaliatory in nature," Scott wrote.

Citizens President Barry Gilway has requested a special hearing to clear the air.

"Citizens is committed to ensuring the highest level of ethics and welcomes a full investigation by the Inspector General into the changes made in the office of corporate integrity," Gilway said.

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