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Legal Action Filed After Exorbitant Compensation Exposed At Domestic Violence Agency

A woman with should length brown hair wears a black jacket while speaking into a microphone.
Steve Cannon
/
AP Photo

Florida’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its former CEO Tiffany Carr are now facing two state lawsuits in addition to investigations from the House and Inspector General’s office. This comes after questions arose about the payment and compensation Carr and other executives in the coalition received while handling tax payer dollars intended to help domestic violence victims.

Attorney General Ashley Moody called Carr “one of the greediest people [she] has ever known" as she announced plans to take legal action against Carr and the coalition.

“Today’s action is aimed at recovering as much of the money that was wasted on executive compensation as we can to ensure that victims of domestic violence are safe and secure,” Moody said.

A Miami Herald Investigation discovered that as head of the coalition, Carr had a salary of $750,000 and received about $7.5 million during a three-year period. Much of that came from cashing in an exorbitant amount of  paid time off. Moody says almost all of the money came from tax payers. She is asking for a court appointee to take control of the coalition and work to preserve any remaining funds, assets and forensic evidence.

“This is a crucial step as these investigations unfold to make sure as legal actions unfold and the investigations continue that assets aren’t further going to officers or directors of this organization and instead as intended by our lawmakers they are going to assist the 42 domestic violence shelters around the state of Florida,” Moody said.

"Today's action is aimed at recovering as much of the money that was wasted on executive compensation as we can to ensure that victims of domestic violence are safe and secure."

The Florida Department of Children and Families and Governor Ron DeSantis have also filed a lawsuit against Carr and the coalition. Their case focuses on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

“There’s a number of causes in there. We are working similarly as the AG to try to recover as much money as we can,” said Chad Poppell who heads the Florida Department of Children and Families.

While so far, the actions filed against Carr are civil, Moody is hinting its jus the beginning.

“All options on further action remain on the table as the result of the products of these investigations and Ms. Tiffany Carr should be very worried,” Moody said.

And Moody isn’t the only one who thinks the fallout is just getting started.

“There’s a lot there and I think there’s multi-jurisdictional concerns there. So obviously the first thing that we had to do was make sure that we would stop the bleeding there. Now it’s a matter of what’s left there make sure its returned to the public coffers and thirdly, how do we hold people accountable for what was done,” said House Speaker Jose Oliva.

Meanwhile, the state has terminated its contract with the coalition.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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