At other points, taxpayers paid for Carroll’s room at a Hyatt Regency in Orlando at $200 a night and at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek, where rooms for Carroll and Ramos cost $219 each. A pair of round-trip tickets on American Airlines from Miami to Tallahassee cost $400, plus an extra $80 luggage fee.
Less than a month after Carroll was placed on a strict travel diet, Scott brought in a new chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, who said Carroll took the news professionally and without complaint.
“We put into place a system that managed the budget that was appropriate and consistent with good stewardship,” Hollingsworth said. “There was no push back. She understood that.”
Carroll was the first lieutenant governor in recent times without access to a state plane to get to official events, because Scott ordered the two planes sold after he was elected. A multimillionaire, Scott has his own plane and pays for his own travel.
Throughout Carroll’s 26 months in office, she used a remote office at a state college near her suburban Jacksonville home where her schedule shows she occasionally spent Fridays and Mondays. Previous lieutenant governors kept similar schedules.
When Carroll made overseas visits to Africa and Trinidad, she received no taxpayer-funded security protection and her airfare and hotel costs were paid for by Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development partnership.
Along the way, the highway patrol disputed cost estimates by Carroll’s staff, and said her office tried to exclude some appropriate charges, such as vehicle mileage, trooper overtime and trooper fringe benefits.
Scott’s next lieutenant governor is sure to inherit a heightened awareness of travel costs.
“The governor now has a great sense of what to expect from a lieutenant governor, and what the people of Florida ought to expect,” Hollingsworth said. “The next lieutenant governor will certainly be able to fulfill their obligations to the people of Florida within the kind of travel budget we’ve established.”
Contact Steve Bousquet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-224-7263.