Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns from office

Amid fallout from an investigation into Internet gambling cafes, Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll has resigned from office, according to Governor Rick Scott.  Her resignation was announced early Wednesday morning by Scott.

“Effective immediately, I hereby resign the Office of Lieutenant Governor of the State of Florida. It has been an honor to have served the State of Florida in this capacity,” stated Carroll’s two-sentence letter dated Tuesday.

According to the governor’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, the Lt. Governor’s resignation was spurred by a federal investigation into Allied Veterans of the World, a company that runs Internet cafes.

“Individuals were arrested [Tuesday] for racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the World’s illegal gambling companies,”  indicated Hollingsworth, in a prepared statement early Wednesday.

“Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010. She was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers [Tuesday] regarding her work with the company. Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliation with the company from distracting from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families. She made the right decision for the state and her family.”

Officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement interviewed Carroll on Tuesday about her alleged ties to Allied Veterans of the World.  Her ties to the company were first questioned when she served in the Florida Legislature and proposed a bill that would benefit Internet cafes.

On Tuesday, federal law enforcement arrested officials from Allied on racketeering charges along with a Jacksonville police union chief  in connection with allegations that they made $290 million supplying illegal gambling software in Florida and claiming the games’ proceeds would benefit a veterans group.

Governor Rick Scott is expected to hold a press conference Wednesday at 3 p.m. to discuss the resignation.

Officials will also hold a 2:30 p.m. press conference in Orlando to address the status of a joint investigation into the alleged illegal activities of Allied Veterans of the World.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson and other law enforcement are expected to participate.

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