The four deaths — plus inspections that found everything from rodent feces, cockroaches and squalor at the Campbell’s facilities — led the state to try to terminate their contract for about 10 group homes. The Campbells fought the state to keep their license so they could continue to work in the healthcare field and bill Medicaid.
In 2011, The Herald began an award-winning investigation into ALFs and found tales of horror and mistreatment at some facilities throughout the state.
Facing reforms, the ALF industry fought back with the help of Rep. Campbell. She co-sponsored legislation to deny public access to the state-kept list of troubled ALFs. Without access to the information, The Herald would not have been able to document the abuse of the elderly in state care.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the bill.
Campbell was also ribbed on the House floor in 2011 when she spoke in favor of a bill limiting lawsuits. Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, brought up the horrific group-home deaths that happened under Campbell’s watch.
Campbell said Randolph was persecuting her because she’s anti-abortion and he’s for abortion rights.
That’s one of the stock responses from the Campbells in all of the above controversies: They’re being persecuted for doing the right thing, the court evidence is wrong, or there’s more information that hasn’t gotten out.
“There are two sides to a story,” Gregory Campbell, the son who now faces Medicaid-fraud charges, told The Herald in 2006 in the wake of the dead disabled people in Professional Group Home’s care.
As for the tax liens, despite court records, Rep. Campbell told The Herald in 2012 “I don’t have no tax liens.”
She then falsely told The Miami Times that “The Miami Herald never spoke with me and I don’t know anything about any tax problems.” But then she reversed herself by saying she has a payment plan with the tax agency and that “my accountant is working with the IRS.”
On Friday in an interview with a Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times state capital bureau reporter, Campbell also disputed the evidence of the red-light tickets issued to her husband’s Honda Odyssey.
The company that runs the ticketing program, American Traffic Solutions, provided video of the minivan running red lights on two occasions. It also furnished a photo of the back of the Odyssey showing a Campbell campaign sticker.
“It’s a lie,” she said. “That camera is a made up story. You can do anything with the computer now.”
Campbell said her red-light legislation isn’t about her or her husband.
“My constituents complained and the people are hurting,” Campbell said. “I promised them when I went to Tallahassee that I would repeal the red light cameras.”
And that’s because she’s a Miami-Dade citizen legislator in a citizen’s legislature.