Florida Governor Rick Scott is facing a major lawsuit alleging that he did not report $200 million worth of personal assets after his 2010 gubernatorial election. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the wake of recent media reports that scrutinized the governor's net worth disclosures following his election.
Scott says that the lawsuit is politically motivated and meant to damage his reputation. The suit coincides with his current campaign for reelection in a tight race against political opponent Charlie Crist. Both sides of the race have been drawing attention to alleged scandals relating to the opposing candidate.
Suit Filed by Lawyer Running for State Attorney General
The suit was brought forward by a lawyer who is currently campaigning to be the next Florida state attorney general. The suit claims that Rick Scott controlled a complicated basket of investment vehicles. It says that Scott's public net worth disclosure is a little more than $132 million; however, he allegedly controls six trusts and other types of accounts with a total value of $340 million.
The lawsuit says that the accurate disclosure of Rick Scott's financial situation is important for the public to determine if the governor has something to gain financially from the decisions he makes. Articles recently featured in the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald accused Scott of owning investments in companies that benefited as a result of his political decisions.
Scott Claims His Actions Are Unassailable
A spokesperson for Scott says that Scott created the multi-million-dollar trust for the express purpose of transparently disclosing his assets and financial information to the public. Meanwhile, Charlie Crist continues to claim that Scott is not being honest with the public about his intentions.
It seems that both candidates for the Florida race have had their share of alleged scandals, though, as the Scott campaign is trying to draw attention to Crist's past associations with Scott Rothstein, a man who is currently serving time in prison for running an investment scam. Scott has also brought up Crist's past selection of Jim Greer (who served time in jail for political fraud) as his chairman.
Even though news might surface regarding alleged criminal activity and other types of untoward behavior during a political campaign, unless the accused candidate is unsuccessful in his or her criminal defense and a conviction occurs in court proceedings, the accused politician will remain innocent.
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