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Staffer for Rick Scott campaign claims to have been paid with gift card instead of check

9:21 PM, Nov 8, 2010   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- There is a new political controversy involving American Express cards. You may recall earlier this year, there was a major flap over items charged on the Party American Express card. Now there are new questions being raised about Florida's new Governor-elect Rick Scott and the use of American Express cards to pay campaign workers.

Mark Don Givens says he went to work for the Scott campaign for a job and to get paid. He joined the campaign after seeing an ad on Craigslist.

The Scott campaign made jobs its number one priority and said it was going to go job hunting for the people of Florida.

When part time workers like Givens went to work for the Scott campaign at the Republican Party headquarters in Tampa, they made calls and went door-to-door to tell voters about Scott's campaign slogan, "Let's Get to Work." Givens says he and his fellow staffers thought they were going to work and would get a paycheck for what they were doing.

But it didn't work out that way.

Givens says a supervisor told him the campaign can't give him a check and that instead he would receive gift cards for the hours he worked.

In addition, Givens says he wasn't the only temporary staffer who received the American Express gift card and he and others were not happy about it.

"Obviously you can't pay bills with gift cards," Givens says, and it made him angry that the campaign would offer them to him. In addition, Givens says there was a delay in receiving most of his compensation. He says he kept waiting and waiting and couldn't get anything.

A spokesperson for  Scott acknowledges there was a problem getting Givens his check. The spokesperson says a supervisor made the decision to give Givens gift cards instead, however the campaign says the cards can be reimbursed for cash and it will pick up the service charge or it will issue a check in return for the cards.

The campaign says it will do the same for any other staffers who are upset about receiving the gift cards.

Still, when we asked Givens how he feels about the Republican governor-elect he told us he is now "going Democrat."

There is still more than a month before the new governor takes office.

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Mike Deeson, 10 News

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