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Review: Travel expenses of Fla. insurer excessive
The review found that top company officials stayed at hotels at rates higher than those that would be paid by normal state employees, including hotel expenses in Bermuda and Switzerland. Citizens' chief financial officer, for example, upgraded her hotel in Bermuda from $459 a night to $633 a night. Sharon Binnun also spent nearly $1,300 on a two-night stay in London.
The review also found more than 50 instances where senior managers were reimbursed for meals in their own hometowns. It also noted that former Citizens President Tom Grady took a limousine from his house to the airport.
Citizens this past fall took steps to tighten its travel expenses including putting a cap on hotel and meal expenses. But the review notes that the cap is not in place for members of the board that oversees Citizens.
Top lawyers for Citizens, however, did argue in December that Citizens is not a state agency and it is "unlikely" that state lawmakers intended for the company to follow the same travel expense laws state employees must follow.
Scott in his own statement recommended that the insurer prohibit board members from international travel and the company limit the number of employees at board meetings. He also wants Citizens to hire its own inspector general to review complaints.
A spokeswoman for Citizens said that the company president supports hiring an inspector general and that the company will minimize employee travel to future board meetings.
Follow Gary Fineout on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fineout
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