• Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Inspector General Determines No Post-Employment Policy Violations Made By Departing Executives
  • September 17, 2014
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • A review released by Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corporation's ("Citizens") Inspector General today, September 11, 2014, found that three of Citizens' senior management employees did not violate State ethics laws or company policy following their separation from Citizens to take jobs in the private market.

    Responding to concerns about the issue raised earlier this year, Citizens' Inspector General Bruce Meeks also concluded that Citizens' purchasing policy procedures in place at the time were followed in order to ensure that the executives did not personally gain from contracts made between Citizens and the companies they later joined.

    Mr. Meeks, who serves in an independent "watchdog" role at the pleasure of Florida's Financial Services Commission, recommended that Citizens' Board of Governors should consider steps to improve senior manager training, standardize instructions to evaluate competitive solicitations and better articulate its post-employment policies to current and future employees.

    "The subject review and analysis did not reveal any violation of the post-employment restrictions contained in the state ethics code or Citizens' governing statute on the part of the senior employees after they separated from Citizens," Mr. Meeks concluded in his review. "Further, the review determined that the state ethics requirements, including post-employment restrictions, are equally applicable to Citizens' senior managers as they are in state agencies."

    While no corrective actions were determined to be necessary, the review recommended that Citizens' management should consider the scope of employees subject to post-employment restrictions, but acknowledged management's concern that job candidates may be reluctant to accept employment with Citizens if they believe their future career options would be significantly impaired.

    In his role as Citizens' Inspector General, Mr. Meeks has strengthened the organization and brought a critical level of independent oversight to Citizens as the company continues to take aggressive steps to improve transparency and solidify public confidence, according to Citizens' President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway.

    Mr. Gilway, who has made ethics and integrity top priorities during the past two years by tightening Citizens' internal oversight policies and procedures, said he would review the report and bring any necessary changes to Citizens' Board of Governors at its December 2014 meeting.

    "The bottom line is that we expect all our employees, especially our senior executives, to uphold the highest ethical standards and I'm pleased that the inspector general's report concludes we are doing just that," Mr. Gilway said. "I thank Mr. Meeks for a thorough review and I'm confident the Board of Governors will give his recommendations serious consideration."