Please see the below statement and link to memo from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis’ General Counsel Peter Penrod regarding the legal review of and decision to release the three initial allegations against Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Ronald Rubin:
I am writing to provide the attached analysis explaining why the Department of Financial Services released the three original redacted allegations against Commissioner Rubin. As you are aware, the Department received one allegation that could be classified as sexual harassment and two subsequent allegations of a similar nature. Upon receiving these allegations, the Department had two objectives, (1) ensure the alleged victims had a safe work environment and (2) begin an investigation as quickly as possible.
This issue was referred to legal to determine how to achieve these goals without violating the sunshine law provisions of section 286.011, Florida Statutes, and the confidentiality provisions of Chapter 119, Florida Statutes. After a thorough review, legal determined that the only confidentiality provision that applied was section 119.071(2)(n), Florida Statutes—the provision protecting the identity of individuals making allegations of sexual harassment, which was applied. Despite what is being publicly alleged to the contrary, section 119.071(2)(k), Florida Statutes, the provision addressing complaints of misconduct, was also carefully considered but ultimately determined not to apply.
A careful review of chapter 119, Florida Statutes, reveals misconduct, as the term is used in section 119.071(2)(k), Florida Statutes, is undefined. Section 110.227(1), Florida Statutes, uses the term “misconduct” as a standard of discipline for career service employees. Rule 60L-36.005(3)(g), Florida Administrative Code, defines misconduct as a standard of conduct inappropriate for a career service employee that is not illegal but inappropriate given the individuals specific job. The allegations received by the Department were not allegations of misconduct against a career service employee, they were allegations of sexual harassment against the Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation—a senior management service employee, a form of at-will employment reserved for high-level management positions.
Click here to view the full memo.
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).