Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll's resignation a stunner

6:05 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Governor Rick Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll raised their hands in victory in November 2010 as confetti rained down during their party.

Carroll, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, was the first African-American woman elected to the post. And in the past, the Governor called her hard working.

"It's jobs, jobs, jobs and that's what she's doing every day," Scott said during one news conference.

But it is her job that Carroll is now abruptly stepping away from, in hopes of putting distance between the Governor and an Internet gambling scandal. The Lt. Governor resigned after being questioned by law enforcement on Tuesday about her relationship with a controversial non-profit group that operates internet cafes throughout the state.

In 2009 and 2010 Carroll did PR work for Allied Veterans of the World and even appeared in a commercial supporting the group.

Allied Veterans is now accused of money laundering and dozens of people associated with the group have been arrested.

"Using a charity to cover a scheme is not only wrong, but it's callous and despicable," Attorney General Pam Bondi said at an Orlando news conference Wednesday afternoon.

And this is not the Lt. Governor's first controversy. One of her former aides says she caught Carroll in a compromising position with another female. It's a charge Carroll has strongly denied, but even the wording of that denial became a miss-step by offending lesbians.

"Usually black women who look like me don't engage in relationships like that," Carroll told 10 News with a nervous laugh.

With this latest link to a disgraced company, Carroll became an embarrassment to her office and perhaps a liability to Governor Scott. And lawmakers from Tampa Bay say resigning makes sense.

"I'm saddened by the news. Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll is a great public servant who has served well," said Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) in Tallahassee.

Rep. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) reacted this way: "I think the Lt. Governor probably did the right thing, not only for herself and her family, but most importantly for the state."

Governor Scott says he'll name a replacement after the legislative session is over in May.

Follow 10 News Reporter KathrynBursch on twitter @Kathryn Bursch

More Jennifer Carroll stories:

Sex scandal: Lt. Governor Carroll speaks out about sex scandal

History maker: Jennifer Carroll makes history as Lt. Governor

Lesbian remark: Lt. Governor Carroll apologizes for lesbian remark

Misconduct allegations: Former aide alleges misconduct for Jennifer Carroll

Lawyers admonished: Lawyers admonised over case with former Jennifer Carroll aide Carletha Cole

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