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New complaints against Ronald Rubin detail ageist remark, inappropriate interactions

“He then pointed to three names and said they needed to go because they were ‘too old.'” 

One of two new complaints against Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Commissioner Ronald Rubin details a conversation during which Rubin made an ageist remark about a group of employees.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis‘ office released redacted copies of the complaints Tuesday night. Rubin is on administrative leave and is the subject of an internal investigation prompted by a sexual harassment complaint released last week.

An OFR spokesperson said they could not comment on pending investigations.

Identifying information is redacted from the two new documents.

One complainant describes an odd interview experience they shared with Rubin earlier this year.

During that interview, the complainant recalls Rubin making a negative remark about older employees while discussing the need to restructure the state entity he oversees.

“[Rubin] pointed to the names on the chart that he wanted to keep,” reads the complaint, delivered to Patronis on Monday. “He then pointed to three names and said they needed to go because they were ‘too old.'”

According to the complaint, Rubin told the interviewee he “couldn’t find any smart people in Tallahassee as there were too many ‘rednecks.'”

Rubin, per the complainant’s account, said he wanted to recruit Washington, D.C., talent to staff OFR.

The interviewee also said Rubin gave examples of “dumb things” the General Counsel did at OFR and that Rubin said he was “annoyed” Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t recognize him when the two saw each other at an event.

Another complaint from a different source described an interaction with Rubin during which he recalled a conversation with Jordan Belfort, the criminal stockbroker whose life is detailed in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Rubin, who had previously worked as a lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), boasts on a personal website his experience as the “lead attorney in the prosecution of Steve Madden.”

The complaint against Rubin alleges Rubin discussed a conversation he had with Belfort — a cooperating witness in the Madden case — “about [Belfort’s] sexual exploits.”

Rubin allegedly told the complainant that the nature of the conversation he had with Belfort required a female employee to leave the room because Belfort wouldn’t discuss his sexual experiences in the presence of women. But Rubin did not relay the details of the conversation to the complainant.

The complainant said they wrote the incident off “as a mistake that was made with good intentions.”

But the complainant wrote they had later heard that Rubin shared his personal cell phone number with female employees at OFR.

Adds the complaint: “My feeling was that his purpose for doing so might not have been entirely work related.”

The OFR  reports to the Financial Services Commission, which is made up of the Governor and Cabinet.

Patronis, a member of the Cabinet, is encouraging those with relevant information about Rubin to come forward.

“We encourage all individuals with any information relevant to this investigation conducted by the Department of Financial Services Office of the Inspector General to please come forward,” wrote Katie Strickland, Patronis’ communications director. 

State law says the Financial Services Commission can hire or fire the OFR head “by a majority vote consisting of at least three affirmative votes, with both the Governor and the Chief Financial Officer on the prevailing side.”

Attorney General Ashley Moody has suggested the allegations could lead to an emergency Cabinet meeting.

“If they are true, the Cabinet should strongly consider [Rubin’s] termination,” Moody tweeted Monday. “This matter should be addressed at an emergency cabinet meeting, in full compliance with Florida’s Sunshine Laws.”

Written By

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at dmcauliffe500@gmail.com.

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