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New Whistleblower Lawsuit Is Just the Latest Scandal at Adam Putnam's Agriculture Department

With Each Passing Day, New Reports Emerge About the Department of Agriculture’s Negligent and Incompetent Management of the Concealed Carry System

With each passing day, new reports emerge about Adam Putnam’s incompetent and negligent management of the concealed carry licensing system. Just yesterday, Politico reported that Adam Putnam’s office settled a lawsuit with a former compliance officer. That’s the second whistleblower lawsuit that has been revealed in two weeks. The report comes just a day after The Tampa Bay Times reported that last year Putnam’s office itself admitted to lawmakers last year that it was struggling to process concealed carry permits — directly contradicting Putnam’s claims that the problems in the Division of Licensing were limited to one employee.

As the Gainesville Sun editorial board wrote this week, in Putnam’s long record of scandal “the state is seeing the consequences of the National Rifle Association’s power” on a “candidate for governor who once touted himself as a ‘proud NRA sellout.'”

Politico: Putnam’s office settled lawsuit with former staffer over concealed carry citizenship checks. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s department settled a whistleblower lawsuit in 2016 with a former compliance officer who claimed that “illegal and undocumented workers” were able to obtain concealed carry permits through the state’s much-scrutinized processing system.

WFTV Orlando: “More Fallout in the Investigation into Concealed Weapons Permits.” ‘Documents now show that the Department of Agriculture, which issues the licenses, may have failed to check citizenship permits.”

WTVT Tampa: “Adam Putnam Controversy.” “A former compliance officer named James Daniel Smith Jr. sued Putnam’s Department of Agriculture… he claims he was fired for reporting malfeasance.”

Associated Press: Florida auditors reviewing office that oks weapon permits. Florida auditors are reviewing the operations of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s agency, including the office responsible for issuing permits for concealed weapons. It’s not clear when the audit will be finished, but the review was underway before news stories revealed problems in the office. The audit is being done by the state’s auditor general, who is appointed by the Legislature.

Tampa Bay Times: Adam Putnam’s agency raised concerns it couldn’t keep up with surge in weapons permits. A $13.3 million fix was needed to meet demand, his agency said in a 2017 budget request. That blunt assessment, previously unreported, conflicts with how Putnam has characterized the concealed weapons program amid reports his department mishandled applications for licenses.

Sun Sentinel: Adam Putnam’s office faced accusations that it didn’t vet immigration status of security guard applicants. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office faced accusations in a wrongful termination lawsuit that it failed to properly vet the immigration status of people applying for security guard licenses, the latest revelation in a scandal that has plagued the Republican’s bid for governor.

Gainesville Sun: Editorial: Florida law encourages shootings. The state is seeing the consequences of the National Rifle Association’s power in a controversy involving Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a candidate for governor who once touted himself as a “proud NRA sellout.” Reporting by the Tampa Bay Times has shown that Putnam’s office rushed to approve concealed weapons permits and at one point approved 291 applicants who would have been disqualified if given the proper background check. An ex-employee claimed in a lawsuit that her bosses said she “worked for the NRA.”

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