TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll announced her resignation Wednesday, a day after being questioned by authorities investigating a company that she once represented.
As a veteran who served during the Gulf War, Carroll spoke of her own service in a promotional video. She highlighted her ties to the Allied Veterans group that's now accused of running a fraudulent charity and pocketing $300 million.
The group is so tainted that Carroll resigned with a two-sentence letter. She said the resignation was effective immediately.
9 Investigates learned that her connections to Allied Veterans run deep.
"I think it's clear from the facts that you cite that, politically, she has crossed the line," said WFTV political analyst Dr. Rick Foglesong.
As a state representative Carroll did consulting work for the group.
In 2009 she listed Allied Veterans as a major source of personal income, but did not specify an amount.
In 2010 she sponsored a bill to legalize Allied's controversial business. She withdrew the bill after it came under scrutiny.
Last year Allied leader Jerry Bass posted a Facebook photo, which he took of Carroll at a veterans' event.
When Channel 9's George Spencer asked if Carroll would face criminal charges, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner answered cautiously.
"I cannot comment on the lieutenant governor's role in this operation," said FDLE commissioner Gerald Bailey.
Foglesong said the fact that Carroll resigned so quickly could mean she has more to hide.
"It may be that there are things we don't know yet about her involvement with this organization that really compel her to take this course," said Foglesong.
Wednesday afternoon several state political leaders called for a full ban on all Internet casinos.
Florida law requires a lieutenant governor to be in office, but Gov. Rick Scott said a new one will be chose after the legislative session ends.
On Tuesday, Allied Veterans’ national commander Jerry Bass was arrested in Oklahoma on charges of racketeering, along with former national commander Johnny Duncan, corporate secretary Michael Davis and Tampa operator Anthony Alascia.
Bass is accused of making $290 million after supplying illegal gambling software in Florida and claiming the games' proceeds would benefit a veterans group.
But Oklahoma authorities said the group actually received only 1 percent of the money.
Jacksonville police union representatives have also been taken into custody in the huge probe, as has the primary lawyer for Allied Veterans.
That lawyer, Kelly Mathis, has been the public spokesman for the group, insisting to the media and others for years that Allied's work was legal.
Chase Egan Burns, 37, and his wife, 38-year-old Kristin Burns, both face extradition to Florida to face the charges.
An attorney for Burns did not respond to a request for comment.
Chase Burns owns International Internet Technologies in Anadarko, about 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
He and his wife were arrested after an investigation that spanned several years and involved the Internal Revenue Service and various law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Florida, including the sheriff's office in Florida's Seminole County, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office.