Governor strips coalition against domestic violence from distributor of state funds

Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS) – Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law removing the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the sole distributor of state domestic violence services funding on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Financial Officer of the coalition took questions from lawmakers as they continued their investigation into how the coalition’s former CEO was paid $7.5 million over a three year period.

The testimony revealed the CEO had significant sway over her own salary and benefits.

Patricia Duarte has been the Chief Financial Officer for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence since 2010.

The coalition managed $45 million a year in state funds.

Lawmakers investigating the coalition want to know how former CEO Tiffany Carr was able to make $7.5 million over a three year period and cash in $3 million of paid time off in just five months.

Lawmakers had to ask questions multiple times to get an answer, with the CFO often explaining she just did what she was told.

“Did it ever occur to you that boy, this really is a lot of money from an organization that’s supposed to be taking care of the victims of domestic violence?” Asked Rep. Randy Fine.

“If that was given to her it was not my choice,” said Duarte.

“Would you not be able to tell her that that was not the correct funding source to use those dollars for? Wasn’t that part of your job description?” Asked Rep. Susan Valdes.

“She [Carr] said that basically funds were not to be returned to DCF,” said Duarte.

When asked if the exorbitant paid time off Carr allotted herself and other executives including Duarte were immoral, lawmakers were able to get one concession.

“I would say unethical, no. Wrong? I mean is it excessive? It could be viewed as excessive,” said Duarte.

Duarte also told lawmakers Carr signed off on her own payroll and travel reimbursement checks.

Carr is now residing in North Carolina she has so far ignored House subpoenas asking for her to testify.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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