LaRosa Still Refuses to Repay Unemployment Compensation
It was determined that former Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS) elected director Frank LaRosa was receiving unemployment compensation he did not deserve. Elected officials in the state of Florida do not qualify to receive unemployment. But, LaRosa filed an appeal concerning his unemployment compensation claim and has officially lost.
Kristin Lock, a public relations representative for the State of Florida unemployment office, did state LaRosa received unemployment.
LaRosa, when reached for comment for the Jul 3, 2012 article in the Gazette, he replied with a string of expletives not suitable for repetition.
But during a phone interview with the Lehigh Acres Gazette for the Aug 26, 2012 article, LaRosa stated he gave all his unemployment compensation to a family in need that lives in a trailer. But he refused to give the name or address of that family. Also, he stated all his income from serving on the LMHS board member went to the needy. However, again LaRosa refused to reveal to whom he gave made these charitable donations too.
According to a story on the Lehigh Acres Citizen dated 2/27/2013 – “Frank LaRosa, a member of the LACCP, who recently served for six years on Lee Memorial System’s Board of Directors, told the board he had plans to speak personally with Jim Nathan, who heads Lee County Health Systems.”
According to documents at the LMHS, LaRosa had a meeting scheduled this week with LMHS President Jim Nathan but the meeting as abruptly canceled by LaRosa. Documents show the cancelation of the meeting was due to LaRosa so called being ill but according sources when LaRosa learned that the LMHS could be asking him for full reimbursement for all taxpayer dollars that the health system had to use to defend the case that’s when he canceled the meeting.
Documents shows that LaRosa filed for unemployment in January 2011 claiming “lack of work,” receiving $135 a week – money a Florida administrative judge said he wasn’t entitled to because he wasn’t an employee.
“It’s in the code of ethics and Florida law. That’s something that is out there,” said Jim Humphrey, counsel for Lee Memorial Health System.
In a statement from the Department of Economic Opportunity, officials said there have been no charges of fraud against LaRosa so far.