Against all that, you could understand why Citizens might want to lose a scandal-laden report from the Office of Corporate Integrity. And while they were at it, just get rid of the whole damn office.
The report has this stuff about the braless bar dancing in Tampa and the former director of underwriting taking his staff on a rowdy outing in Key West, replete with more inappropriate, harassing behavior. And the Citizen corporate counsel’s lack of a Florida law license. And other stuff (including an interesting passage about an employee running a sex toy mail order business using the company computers and the Citizens mail room.) Most of the allegations of unseemly behavior had originally been dismissed after a faux investigations performed by hired private law firms. The hired guns knew what to find. The company paid $2,403,952 since 2003 to outside lawyers to find, 92 percent of the time, that allegations of bad behavior were “unsubstantiated.” (The review by the Office of Corporate Integrity, noting that the lawyers didn’t do much actual investigating, found only 46 percent of the complaints had been unwarranted.)
But if the rowdy behavior was too much, even by Citizens’ permissive standards, getting fired could be pretty lucrative. The report found Citizens had written checks amounting to $752,903 in severance pay since 2004. Scandalous behavior seem to pay off big-time. Another underwriting veep accused of having an adulterous affair with one of his workers, and hitting up another young woman in his office for $5,000 to help him hire a lawyer to fend off the accusations, was given $80,000 severance, and $40,000 in accrued vacation and sick pay, to go away.
The problem, of course, is that Citizens, while giving away big chunks of severance money to its naughty party boys and paying law firms to not ferret out bad behavior by other employees, was simultaneously putting the big squeeze on Floridians.
Finally, even Gov. Rick Scott noticed. He dispatched the state inspector general, who was already looking at last summer’s reports of Citizens’ lavish spending, to investigate this latest scandal.
But it seems pretty self-explanatory. When Citizens got rid of its Office of Corporate Integrity, the company jettisoned its last vestiges of corporate integrity.