The Labor Day Knucklehead Award Marathon Part Eight
Today's Eighth winner is Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. He gets the award for the following.
A group of state inspectors general says that Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty violated Florida law by using a state computer to help the political campaign of a friend but they are satisfied with his public apology.Kevin McCarty should be ousted as Insurance Commissioner. He broke the law, and that should be enough for his removal from office. McCarty works for the people of Florida not his friends. For forgetting that, I make Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today's Eighth Knucklehead of the Day.
State law allows for criminal penalties for public officials who campaign while working at their government jobs, but the state's Chief Inspector General Mark Perez, who led the joint investigation, said it was an isolated incident.
McCarty had apologized to Gov. Charlie Crist and other members of the Florida Cabinet last spring for contacting officials of insurance companies and asking them to give campaign contributions to Leon County judicial candidate Robin Lotane.
She was the wife of McCarty's then communications director, Robert Lotane.
Investigators said McCarty's actions resulted in a ''possible perception of influence.''
But investigators found just one incident - a single e-mail that an insurance company executive sent to McCarty and he forwarded - that supported allegations the commissioner was violating state law.
In the e-mail, the executive apologizes for missing McCarty's phone call about a fund-raiser for Robin Lotane.
McCarty used his state computer to forward the message to communications director Robert Lotane, investigators found.
Robert Lotane resigned the morning after the April 18 fund-raiser for his wife after admitting that he used a state computer to create an invitation for the event
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