Photo of CFO Alex Sink

Volume 4 Number 2
January 12, 2007

 CONSUMER SERVICES  HELPLINE 800-342-2762

Florida Department of Financial Services logo

Paintings by Jim Draper, a Florida artist represented  by Signature Galleries in Tallahassee, are on loan to the Capitol office of the CFO.

Dear Floridian:

The Florida Legislature will convene a special session next week to address complex issues that are affecting the affordability and availability of property insurance in Florida. We all are rooting for our legislators to come up with a plan to ease the financial pain of skyrocketing rates and cancellations, but as citizens we all have a critical role in making sure that whatever the Legislature enacts will work.

This week, the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud has arrested dozens of individuals who allegedly took advantage of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes to scam their insurance companies. One man filed a claim for damaged furniture, but the furniture was safely taken to his ex-wife’s home as part of a settlement.

These stories would be laughable if they didn’t lead to real financial pain for the rest of us policyholders left to pick up the tab through higher premiums. There is no legitimate reason to commit insurance fraud. If you suspect insurance fraud, please call our Fraud Fighters hotline at 1-800-378-0445. We offer a reward of up $25,000 for information directly leading to an arrest and conviction.

That’s how seriously we take insurance fraud, and that’s how seriously all Floridians should take it.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Sink



SINK ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTMENTS

Alex Sink, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, announced the appointments of Dan Sumner as Interim General Counsel and Kathy Baughman McLeod as Deputy Chief of Staff.

“I’m pleased to announce the appointments of Mr. Sumner and Ms. Baughman McLeod, two highly talented professionals, to my administration,” said Sink. “Their leadership experience and commitment to accountability will be an asset to the Department of Financial Services and the people of Florida.”

Dan Sumner, Interim General Counsel— Bringing three decades of legal expertise and public service, Mr. Sumner has accepted the position of Interim General Counsel, serving as the chief legal advisor to CFO Sink. Mr. Sumner will supervise the Divisions of Legal Services, Risk Management, and Rehabilitation and Liquidation; and as Interim General Counsel will represent the Chief Financial Officer in litigation in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals. Mr. Sumner previously served as the Assistant Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, and held numerous legal and insurance roles under the former Department of Insurance prior to Cabinet reorganization. In addition to his other duties, Mr. Sumner is currently serving on a voluntary basis as the interim executive director of the recently reactivated PCJUA.

Kathy Baughman McLeod, Deputy Chief of Staff—With a dozen years experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors surrounding Florida government, Ms. Baughman McLeod has accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Staff. In her new role, Ms. Baughman McLeod will lead the development, implementation, management and enforcement of policies governing the areas of Cabinet Affairs, Legislative Affairs and Communications. In addition to her private sector experience, Ms. Baughman McLeod has held prior positions at the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Trust for Public Land, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Like CFO Sink, Ms. Baughman McLeod is a member of Leadership Florida.
 

CFO SINK ANNOUNCES NEARLY $700,000 IN HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDS AWARDED TO STATE BOMB TEAM, LABORATORY

Alex Sink, the chief financial officer of Florida and state fire marshal, announced that the Division of State Fire Marshal’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit and Forensic Laboratory have been awarded nearly $700,000 in homeland security funds to buy equipment to protect Florida communities.

“We can never let our guard down when it comes to being prepared for a potential disaster, whether natural or manmade,” Sink said. “We are committed to doing all we can to make sure we are trained, equipped and ready, and I thank the Department of Homeland Security for supporting us in that.”
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SINK ANNOUNCES FREE COURSES SCHEDULED FOR CONTRACTORS INTERESTED IN MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME PROGRAM

Alex Sink, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that free courses will be offered to licensed contractors who are interested in participating in the My Safe Florida Home program.  The four-hour course will teach contractors the techniques and standards for effective wind-resistant retrofit improvements.

“Our mission is to strengthen homes in Florida against the devastating effects of storm damage,” said Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services.  “Contractors who participate in this program will play a key role in better protecting families and properties from catastrophic losses.” CONTINUED


 
 

CFO ALEX SINK
OFFICE OF CABINET AFFAIRS

 

THE FLORIDA CABINET MEETS JANUARY 18

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink will be onboard for her first Cabinet meeting on Thursday, January 18. She is one of three state-wide elected officials comprising the Florida Cabinet with Attorney General Bill McCollum and Commissioner Charles Bronson. 

The governor is the popularly elected chief executive of Florida, but the three members of the Cabinet are elected by the people and serve as a collective decision- and rule-making body for the state along with the governor. Each Cabinet member serves a four-year term with a two-term limit and is wholly responsible for the administration of at least one state department. CFO Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services. The Governor is responsible for the administration of most other state agencies.

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TAMPA MAN FACES FELONY CHARGES FOR SELLING BOGUS PIP INSURANCE CARDS
Unlicensed agent sold fake cards for $100 each

Alex Sink, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced the arrest of a Tampa man accused of posing as an insurance agent and selling bogus personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance cards. 

Andre Coachman, 37, worked at Coat Used Auto Sales, located at 4170 East Hillsborough Ave., and was arrested Tuesday by detectives with the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.  Coachman is charged with providing false/fraudulent proof of insurance and transacting insurance without a license, third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with bond set at $5,000.

Sink is urging anyone who suspects they may have bought a bogus insurance card from Coachman or from anyone else to call the Division of Insurance Fraud’s Tampa office at 813-972-8602 or, outside of Tampa, 1-800-378-0445.
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