The Florida House is now “cracking down” on the “taxpayer-backed” non-profit called the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), and governor Ron DeSantis wants to review contracts with additional private agencies. This after Tiffany Carr, the founder and CEO of FCADV, received $7.5 million in compensation over a three-year span while spending most of her time in North Carolina.
And those are the headlines in just the last 24 hours. What we haven’t seen is headlines revealing that 99% of FCADV’s funding has come from state and federal funds for the last decade, or that the problems with FCADV were obvious already eight years ago.
In state FY18, the last year for which FCADV’s tax returns are available, their tax return shows that $51,443,542 of the FCADV’s $52,010,131 total revenues for that year, or 99% of their revenue, came from government grants. See part VII, line 1e of their tax return
The pattern is the same for FY17, FY16 and going back all the way to FY12 : FCADV always received 99% of its funding from government.
Already in that same state fiscal year, FY12, then governor Rick Scott said he wanted to change the law so that future state funds wouldn’t be steered directly to FCADV. “I do not believe it is appropriate to designate in statute a specific private entity as the recipient of state funds,” Scott wrote in signing HB 7093, extending the state’s alliance with the nonprofit coalition. “Such a practice restricts the competitive procurement process.” Yet nothing changed.
Carr’s outrageously high $316,104 salary (plus benefits) was an issue already in 2012. So it proceeded to more than double, perhaps encouraged by the inaction of legislators.
In 2018, the Miami Herald reported that Carr was then being paid $761,560 annually, a salary that was approved by its board. A majority of the board members run shelters that in turn rely on funding from FCADV, a dependency relationship that violates basic principles of oversight.
Carr is no longer employed by FCADV. But not before apparently receiving $4.2 million in paid time off between July 2013 through her resignation in October 2019. That $4.2 million was in addition to her pay and benefits.
Between her resignation and last month, Carr also was a “consultant” for FCADV. Maybe there were a lot of records that needed to be chucked in to a burn barrel?
Carr was also paid two years of severance, and compensated for two years of health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. She also got to keep her email account, her company laptop and her remote computer.
The Florida Legislature is the body that created the FCADV, a corrupt monster that devoured hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds. FCADV existed to benefit its CEO, and maybe also those who created its special status in Florida law.
Now that same body, the Florida Legislature, will surely seek to “reform” state domestic violence shelter law and policies. Perhaps we’ll have a new scandal in a decade when this scandal has been forgotten and Tiffany Carr is out of prison. Our bet is that “prison” is in Carr’s future.
Here at The Guardian, we try to do our part when find this kind of egregious abuse of public funds. For that reason, we filed IRS form 13909 “Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint” asking the IRS to terminate FCADV’s tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3).
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