Monday, December 26, 2005

Citizens Audit Report Finished

Former Citizens Property COO Paul Hulsebusch is talking -- at least to one reporter -- about the on-going federal grand jury investigation. Paige St. John has the story in this morning's Florida Today.

Hulsebusch isn't really doing a "tell all." More like a "tell some." But St. John throws in one bit of news at the end that hints at worse to come.

Short version: Yeah, says Hulsebusch, I was paid off with an expensive motorcycle. So what? Everybody else at Citizens knew about it and Citizens general counsel Mike Colodny told me it was OK (just a few months before the lawyer resigned under his own ethical cloud.)

Medium version: The scandal is "politically motivated" to boost Tom Gallagher's campaign for governor "while diverting attention from his own responsibilities" for Citizens' poor performance.

News Hint: Citizens has at long last "dropped all legal defense" of Hulsebusch and Quantum, the Texas adjusting firm to whom he allegedely steered $6 million worth of business. St. John reports that --
Quantum's contract work for Citizens ended abruptly Tuesday, the day after Citizens executives met with state auditors to learn the still-confidential results of their own investigation into the insurer.
Predictably, the state audit report hasn't been made public. Most likely, Citizens execs are waiting for some Friday news dump opportunity, say, in ten or eleven months, coincidentally right after Election Day 2006.


Another Gannett newspaper, the reently-acquired Tallahassee Democrat, has a longer version of Paige St. John's article that adds more background facts.

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