Florida's top financial regulator was placed on administrative leave Friday, after one of his staff filed a detailed sexual harassment complaint against him.
Ronald Rubin had been on the job as commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) for less than three months, having been appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the full Cabinet Feb. 26.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released the following statement directing an immediate investigation:
“Due to these troubling allegations ... I am requiring an immediate investigation into the conduct of Commissioner Rubin. Every person deserves to feel safe and respected in their work environment. That standard is non-negotiable. Commissioner Rubin has been placed on administrative leave. I have directed my Office of the Inspector General to begin a preliminary investigation, and I will seek additional input from the Cabinet.”
The complainant said Rubin, while walking him/her to lunch, suggested the two stop in at his condo to see the progress on his renovations, including his bedroom. He invited the employee to travel to Washington with him, and when he/she declined, offered him/her the key to his apartment in Washington, D.C. at some future date.
The complaint released includes a host of redactions and does not give the name, job title or even gender of the employee. But it indicates the alleged incident involed a relatively new hire.
Rubin was unavailable for comment by telephone Friday night.
See the request for Rubin’s placement on administrative leave here.
See the request to investigate the complaint here.
See the sexual harassment complaint here.
Rubin, whose annual salary is $166,000, was a special counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before the State of Florida hired him.
The office, which oversees state-chartered financial institutions, securities firms, finance companies, money-service businesses and debt collectors, has an operating budget of about $41 million a year and nearly 360 employees.
The commissioner’s job opened last year after Patronis put his toe behind former Commissioner Drew Breakspear. Patronis said Breakspear's office showed a “lack of cooperation, responsiveness, and communication.” Allegations Breakspear denied.
The general counsel is continuing the Rubin investigation.
Editor's note: The original version of this story identified the complainant as a female. But his/her gender has not yet been disclosed.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith