DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Florida ranks first in a lot of things. Known for its beautiful beaches and top vacation destinations, the Sunshine State is earning a black eye for another number one ranking.
A new study shows that when it comes to government corruption, Florida is top of the list. That's according to Integrity Florida, a public interest watchdog group based in Tallahassee. According to the group, in five of the last 12 years, Florida led all states in at least one category: the most criminal convictions of people in government. Digging deeper into the numbers, there were 781 federal corruption convictions stemming from Florida officials, which is the most in any state during a ten year span. Action News took the findings straight to the top to Gov. Rick Scott. Scott spoke to a group of Chamber of Commerce members in Daytona Beach.
“I think we're making a lot of progress,” said Scott.
Governor Scott says he doesn't want his state to be known for dirty politics. When Action News told him about the study, he pointed to steps his administration is taking to increase transparency in Tallahassee. Last month, Scott announced Project Sunburst, which allows you to read emails sent to and from the Governor and 11 top staffers online.
“My belief is the more we let individuals know about what's happening and how government dollars are being spent, this is your tax money. This is your property tax dollars, sales tax dollars and you should know how it is being spent,” said Scott.
In a state known for its scenic getaways, the governor just wants the corruption title to hit the road. “There are always things we can improve and I want to continue to improve them,” said Scott.