Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence CEO faces possible contempt after failure to testify

Posted at 11:29 PM, Mar 12, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There is more trouble for the former head of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is now facing a possible contempt charge.

Tiffany Carr now has to explain to lawmakers why she didn’t show at an Ethics Committee hearing Thursday morning. That's after being served a subpoena via Twitter.

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Ethics Chair Tom Leek, R-Daytona Beach, said Carr being out of state has become a barrier in the committee's effort to get the coalition CEO to appear and explain an exorbitant salary package.

“We’re blazing new territory here,” Rep Leek said. “The sanctions can be monetary, they can also be imprisonment.”

Committee members have been investigating allegations Carr, with the help of her board, paid herself millions in public dollars rather than the 42 domestic violence shelters the coalition financially supports.

“I mean you can only evade justice for so long,” Rep. Leek said. “Eventually it will catch her.”

Lawmakers also heard troubling new testimony from shelter directors who operated under the coalition’s umbrella.

Meg Baldwin, with Refuge House in Tallahassee, said she felt “disgust” when she heard of Carr’s alleged actions. She testified a tight budget last year forced her North Florida shelter to turn away nearly 800 women requesting housing assistance.

“Somehow the leadership at FCADV lost their way,” Baldwin said. “That is something that we, who provide services to others, can never afford to do.”

As lawmakers' ethics investigation continued, civil action by Attorney General Moody made progress.

A Leon County judge ordered a receiver to take over coalition assets on Thursday. Moody hoped the move would preserve forensic evidence, saying recently criminal charges are still possible.

In an upcoming hearing, the AG’s office will also try to get control of the coalition’s foundation.

It has $1.5 million in the bank. The director and only member, Tiffany Carr.