After former state employee Dianne Parcell -- who worked for the Department of Economic Opportunity -- recently won a lawsuit for $250,000 against the state of Florida, taxpayers here could now be on the hook for up to $2 billion in legal claims.
This comes after Parcell was fired for revealing her whistleblower status and claimed in her lawsuit that the Rick Scott administration sent names of innocent Floridians to collection agencies after they allegedly received inflated unemployment payment checks, according to freelance journalist Dave Heller.
During trial, the jury also decided that the administration "systematically retaliated against the whistleblower after she uncovered 97 conspicuous irregularities and refused to participate in an institutionalized cover up," with the total number of Floridians to be nearly 19,000.
It was revealed that one Floridian has already demanded $100,000 and has settled with the state. This means taxpayers could be on tap to pay about $1.9 billion in claims.
"This administration was heartless and deceitful to me for trying to stop the fraudulent claims but irreparably hateful to 19,000 innocent Floridians just trying to get by during the recession," Parcell told Heller.
The actions by the administration make it more difficult for those 19,000 affected to buy or lease a car, get loans, return to school, or purchase a house.
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