Rick Scott won’t put his wealth in a blind trust anymore

Tampa Bay Times by Steve Contorno

February 11, 2019

TAMPA — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott will no longer keep his vast wealth in a blind trust, forgoing a method for publicly disclosing his personal finances that he used during his eight years as Florida’s governor.

Scott said Monday that instead he will report his assets to the public in annual financial disclosure forms required of all members of Congress.

“I’m not going to have a blind trust,” Scott said Monday during a Tampa visit. “What you do is just make the normal filings.”

He didn’t elaborate further. His Senate office didn’t provide more details, including when he made the decision and why he took this step.

Scott, the former head of a health care company before a scandalous exit, was the wealthiest governor in state history. His state financial disclosure report — filed late on a Friday evening last June — showed Scott had a net worth of more than $232 million at the end of 2017.

In 2011, Scott created a blind trust that he said would give Floridians confidence that his decisions were in the best interest of the state, not his bank account. In theory, a blind trust should prevent conflicts by taking the elected official’s investments out of his control.

Government watchdogs and ethics experts, however, have repeatedly said over the years that this arrangement didn’t shield Scott from conducting public business while knowing what his investments were. For one, it was managed by a third party company that included Scott’s former personal adviser. Meanwhile, it didn’t include $173 million in investments held by his wife Ann Scott, many of which overlapped with the governor’s own assets in the blind trust, Politico reported last year.

Nor did Scott’s the blind trust eliminate questions about conflicts of interest. Last year, for example, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Scott had a financial interest in the company that operates Florida’s SunPass system.

Government watchdogs and ethics experts, however, have repeatedly said over the years that this arrangement didn’t shield Scott from conducting public business while knowing what his investments were. For one, it was managed by a third party company that included Scott’s former personal adviser. Meanwhile, it didn’t include $173 million in investments held by his wife Ann Scott, many of which overlapped with the governor’s own assets in the blind trust, Politico reported last year.

Nor did Scott’s the blind trust eliminate questions about conflicts of interest. Last year, for example, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Scott had a financial interest in the company that operates Florida’s SunPass system.

[Read More]

Leave a Reply

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

%d bloggers like this: