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Jimmy Patronis’ committee threatens to sue Ronald Rubin for ‘campaign of character assassination’

Rubin said his firing was retaliation for complaints he made about the CFO

The lawyer for Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ political committee sent a letter to former Office of Financial Regulation head Ronald Rubin warning him that if he and his attorney continue their “character assassination” campaign, they’ll wind up in court.

Rubin’s tenure leading OFR lasted only a few months before he was suspended and later fired in the wake of multiple sexual assault accusations.

As his removal played out, Rubin and his attorney Michael Tein, filed a lawsuit and a whistleblower complaint alleging Patronis and state employees at the Department of Financial Services and OFR “constituted an enterprise that used illegal means (including blackmail, extortion and abuse of public office) to enrich and empower themselves.”

He then asked Attorney General Ashley Moody to open a criminal investigation into Patronis, who has flatly denied that any of Rubin’s allegations are factual.

The letter specifically cites an accusation made by Rubin and Tein that the former’s firing was “retaliation for Rubin’s complaints about Patronis’ illegal conduct.”

In the Monday letter, Treasure Florida attorney William Spicola wrote that Rubin’s allegations were unfounded and designed to distract from the controversy surrounding Rubin.

“You have engaged in the attempted character assassination of CFO Patronis for nearly a year. During this time period, at least two independent bodies have determined that there is no evidence to support your outrageous allegations of criminal conspiracy, thus making it clear that your removal from your position of statewide leadership by votes of the Governor of Florida and Florida’s Attorney General, along with CFO Patronis, were because of the numerous offenses you committed that were well documented in the Inspector General report into your actions,” Spicola wrote.

“Therefore, CFO Patronis demands that you recant your false, perjurious, and illegal allegations of criminal wrongdoing against CFO Patronis. If you do not, CFO Patronis will take all available measures to protect his legal rights, including suing you for perjury and seeking damages and the recovery of attorney’s fees and costs. CFO Patronis has no interest in a monetary settlement, and any monetary damages recovered against you will be donated by him to charities that support victims of sexual harassment,” the letter continues.

The avenue for the suit would be a violation of chapter 837 of Florida statues, which states: “Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”

The letter says the accusations — submitted in writing as part of Rubin’s whistleblower complaint — were “knowingly false.”

Spicola concludes the letter by telling Rubin that his “own poor judgement and predatory behavior are solely to blame” for his firing.

Here is the letter from Patronis to Rubin:

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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