Friday, December 10, 2004

Tough Talk

The St. Petersburg Times reported yesterday that Chief Financial Services Officer Tom Gallagher threatened to take over Citizens Property Insurance if the state insurer "doesn't make a fast turnaround."

The comment came on a visit to the St. Pete area.

"I don't believe in micromanaging," the newspaper quotes Gallagher as saying, "but I'm not above it. They're going to get up to snuff and they're going to do it real quick."

The paper also says Gallagher confirmed that he has given Citizens "until Friday [December 10] to deliver a plan for improving customer service, saying he is not going to wait for a report from a task force appointed to study the problems."

St. Petersburg Times reporter Jeff Harringston also contacted Citizens, where spokeswoman Susanne Murphy admitted the company received Gallagher's request for a plan Tuesday and will comply. Murphy claimed the agency has made great strides in handling customers and closing cases "in the past several weeks," according to Harrington.

Ms. Murphy is one of the thirteen members of a task force appointed by Gallagher December 1 to recommend ways of improving Citizens' claims service.

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