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TRANSCRIPT OF CFO JIMMY PATRONIS' REMARKS FROM FLORIDA CABINET MEETING ON JULY 25, 2019

7/25/2019

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 25, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
TRANSCRIPT OF CFO JIMMY PATRONIS' REMARKS FROM FLORIDA CABINET MEETING ON JULY 25, 2019

First, I take full responsibility for recommending him as a candidate for this office. It is clear that a much deeper vetting needed to take place—in addition to our standard criminal background check and application process. We needed to get concrete answers for his gaps in employment history and that we did not have.

That will absolutely change going forward. Our process will be more thorough and intense. It is my obligation to get the very best people to serve in positions of statewide leadership in Florida, and it is my own personal goal to do anything I can to protect our state workers and our citizens from the type of predatorial behavior described in the Inspector General’s report into Mr. Ronald Rubin’s actions.

That brings me to my second point: Mr. Ronald Rubin’s actions as laid out in the Inspector General’s report are indefensible. The claims that he acted in a way to repeatedly push and then cross the limits of professional behavior—and in some cases even human decency—makes him unfit for public office in the state of Florida.

The OFR IG found 10 instances of sexual harassment, and I quote:

1. Showing a candidate for OFR employment a photograph of a woman who had expressed a personal interest in him;
2. Suggesting to a candidate for OFR employment that his parents would pay him money to have a child with someone;
3. Stating to subordinate employees that certain matters could not be discussed in front of women;
4. Asking a subordinate employee to remove their shoes to take a picture with him;
5. Recounting to the same employee the sexual history of a family member;
6. Telling the same employee that his parents stated they were very fertile;
7. Offering the same employee attendance at a conference with him in Washington, DC;
8. Offering the same employee, a key to his private residence in Washington, DC;
9. Asking a subordinate employee if their dog watches the employee and their spouse have sex; and
10. Using the “c-word” as a reference to a female in the presence of subordinate employees”

It’s also important to note that Cabinet has broad authority on terminating at-will employees. In this case, we have strong evidence and cause, and we should not be intimated by desperate legal maneuvers.

State service is an honor, not a right, not an entitlement. OFR employees deserve better.

I believe Mr. Ronald Rubin’s employment with the State of Florida needs to be terminated, and at a meeting of the next Cabinet and in compliance with the Weidner settlement. We should begin a conversation about the potential interim Commissioner candidates at OFR so someone can lead the agency even while the search for a permanent replacement begins.

I move to immediately terminate Mr. Ronald Rubin’s employment.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).