Rick Scott wants to drug-test his brother

When Gov. Rick Scott, a rising star of the Tea Party movement, signed into law a bill May 31 requiring that Florida's welfare recipients pass drug tests, he didn't mention how close to home the issue hits.

Scott has a brother in Texas who receives welfare — and might also have a history of drug use. That brother, 54-year-old Roger Scott, lives in Dallas. Public records indicate that a Roger Scott with the same date of birth — and other identifying information — has a criminal history that includes drug possession, assault, and resisting arrest.

Rick Scott's office wouldn't answer specifics about his brother. But a spokeswoman issued a statement to New Times that said, "The governor believes that everyone who applies for welfare benefits should be drug-tested."

Roger Scott, though, talked about his older sibling to two reporters from the Dallas Observer, a sister paper of New Times. At his modest two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Dallas, Roger said he's "very close to his brother" but doesn't get to spend a lot of time with him. "He's very busy, and I don't see him as much as I'd like," Roger said. "Plus, because of my financial situation, I don't have a chance to visit him as much as I'd like."

Roger has lived in Dallas for more than 20 years. Asked whether he works near his apartment, he said, "I'm on social security."

Less than a month ago, Scott signed a law that requires welfare recipients to turn in blood, hair, or urine samples before obtaining cash from the state. Scott also wanted to randomly drug-test state employees but has since backed down after receiving flak from civil liberties groups.

Scott told the media at the time that the law requiring drug tests for welfare recipients would "increase personal responsibility" and "personal accountability" by having 50,000 to 100,000 welfare recipients tested a year. "The goal of this is to make sure we don't waste taxpayers' money," Scott said. "And hopefully, more people will focus on not using illegal drugs."

A welfare recipient who fails the test will be barred from receiving state benefits for six months. After a second failed test, the state will cut off benefits for three years.

Critics of Scott's plan pointed out the governor owned $62 million woth of shares in Solantic, a walk-in clinic chain that performs drug tests for $35 each. In response, Scott transferred the shares to his wife, and when that didn't work to silence conflict-of-interest claims, he sold his stake in the company in April.

Scott's political campaign touted his family values by using his mother, Esther, in campaign ads. Esther's videos also cast the onetime health-care magnate as a rags-to-riches Everyman, an all-American Midwesterner who rose from Illinois public housing to run the nation's largest private hospital corporation, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Scott resigned from his position as CEO in 1997 after the company came under fire for Medicare fraud. Columbia/HCA has since been fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud, much of which took place during Scott's tenure.

Scott's wife Ann and his other brothers Steve and Bill also spoke glowingly on Rick's behalf. The Scott family, however, did not have much to say about Roger. "Why do you want to get a hold of Rick's brother?" mother Esther said from her home in Kansas City, Missouri. "I don't think that's really necessary."

Esther then listed her other children, saying she'd be willing to provide their contact information rather than Roger's phone number, which she refused to share. Scott's other siblings did not return calls for comment. Esther, however, was willing to talk about Scott's early life — about which little is still known. "They were all down there for his inauguration and the primary and the general election," she said of his brothers. "All except Roger."

Roger, she said, was a "good kid" until he developed bipolar disorder. Esther said Roger's illness has been "very tough" for her. "He goes in for treatments, but he doesn't take care of himself," she said. "My son Rick has tried to help Roger for years; the whole family has."

Esther soon ended the conversation about her estranged son. "I really don't think that's anything that you need to put in the newspaper," she said. "If you want scandal on my son, then say you want scandal on my son."

New Times tracked down Rick Scott at a bill-signing ceremony last Friday at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Scott refused to answer questions about his brother directly but said, "Drugs are a real problem all around the country. That's why I put in the pill mill legislation." Scott said he wanted to make sure welfare recipients use their cash to get themselves on their feet rather than spend the money on drugs.

When a New Times reporter asked Scott more-specific questions, a spokesman stood between the governor and the reporter. "We already answered all your questions," the staffer said before she and the governor walked out of the Sheriff's Office.

At his Dallas apartment, Roger said he reads two newspapers daily and used to post every article about his brother on the walls. He recently stopped, he said, because there just wasn't enough space.

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29 comments
chopper12
chopper12

Well, Roger. In a normal family people help each other . It is nothing  unusual, especialy, when a member, or members get sick. Your is not normal family, including your mother.

randrand run
randrand run

Governor Scott is self-loathing of his family and anything that intrudes on his miscreant elite inner-sanctum of his world;-head is firmly wedged up the ostrich's arse-for sure! One more reason to chase this reptilian Gecko from the sacred state house in FLORIDA! IF WE ALLOW THESE POLITICIANS TO PERSIST IN THEIR DESTRUCTIVE POLICIES-WE ALL WILL SUFFER. GET-THE-HELL-RID-OF-THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

joe
joe

Drug testing, anti abortion all sounds good but what about the rest of the problem. what do you do afterwards ? people have kids they dont want. give them to state, abuse them. people have no money no place to live because they cant get welfare. well lets see homeless,crime, prisions, kids go to the state.. who do you think is going to pay for it !!!! Just a question

Robert
Robert

I LOVE IT. IF YOU GET WELFARE AND DO DRUGS. YOU LOSE. IT'S ABOUT TIME THE TAXPAYER GETS RIGHTS AGAINIST THIS FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOR....

Michael W
Michael W

Rick Scott does NOT make decisions for Texans so his decisions do not affect his brother. The writer seems to think this makes Rick a hypocrite..It actually makes him seem MORE dedicated to his own ethics. It is honestly one of the few Rick Scott decisions I support.

Michael (D) Liberal and Voted for Alex Sink... TEST Away Rick I support this decision.

Onseaside
Onseaside

The liberal media strikes again, writin by a democrat, who hates anyone that see things the way she doesnt, Really, whats next baby killer because he does not stop funding for planned parenthood, of course not ,shes a democrat , freedom of choice , except when she doesnt approve, this headline is irresponsible and shows a bias towards the governor, take note rick scott cut the miami new times from any media event, just cut them off

Michael Wind
Michael Wind

drug test for everyone on any government payroll,starting will all the politicians and police.

Juror13
Juror13

guess his brother wont be moving to FL anytime soon

Nonyabiz
Nonyabiz

If the pee is clean, you get the green.

Guest
Guest

It is cheaper to make the welfare payments than the law enforcement and prison costs that will be attributed to drug abusers that have no funds for 6 months.

Jstacy1999
Jstacy1999

Scott is more concerned about filling his pockets with our tax money for his drug testing company. If he could get texas to buy his drug tests he would happily drug test his brother, mother and anyone else to put another dollar in his pocket.

Guest
Guest

Rick Scotts brother is on welfare fraudulently and needs the blood test for his parole officer.

Rifmiami
Rifmiami

Rick Scott.....my opinion.....a poor excuse for a human being, however looking at him on TV I am not sure that he is living......he bought an election......how dare he invade my privacy with his ROBO calls.....with his accomplishments. He hasn't accomplished shit.....A one term governor and if he could be recalled, he should be......he has his own interpretation of the law, and does as he pleases.....I think Rick Scott is a JERK

Ernie
Ernie

This headline and article are grossly misleading. Not only does Rick Scott's brother live in another state outside of Scott's jurisdiction, the brother is not even on welfare!

Contrary to the implication here, Social Security is NOT welfare and Social Security recipients are NOT subject to testing under Scott's program.

Bob Graham
Bob Graham

That phony POS governor the idiot electorate of Floriduh put in office deserve him. He treats his own family like Shiite.

Mbg48
Mbg48

It feels clear to me the Scott family is more concerned with the "me" than the "we." Roger is the example. I believe all of this comes from Dear Sweet Esther, who has something to do with Roger's bi-polar disorder.

In the end this is pretty easy. If you treat your brother like a piece of shit, you'll treat everyone else like a piece of shit, unless they're doing something for you. Esther, be careful, when you're too old to help out Scott or the 'good kids' they'll have you silenced next. Lazy Acres for you.

Count on it.

Bob
Bob

So Rick Scott sold his interest in Solantic and won't receive any money for refering thousands of welfare clients for drug tests or for sonagrams for pregnant teens wanting an abortion . If you beleve that, I have 3 bridges for sale over the intracoastal.

randrand run
randrand run

BEING BELLIGERENT AND PUNITIVE TAKES MONEY------YOURS!!!. IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION-YOU A-R-E THE PROBLEM. YOU WANT SIMPLE ANSWERS FOR THE HUMAN CONDITION-UNFORTUNATELY-YOU WILL GET REBELLION AND VIOLENCE. THAT IS A BIT MUCH FOR YOU, EHH? WISHIN' IT WOULD ALL MYSTICALLY "GO AWAY IN A PUFF OF SMOKE",EHHH? EVEN BELLIGERENT WANNABES ARE CHOKING ON THESE ISSUES----NO CLUES-FECKLESS!

Swanny1776
Swanny1776

you really do not have a clue to what this is all about do you? I think testing brain functions might be good (if it wasn't against the constitution) just for the honor of voting.

http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?... Two Hour Fraud Deposition.Rick Scott Two Hour Fraud Deposition, Never Before Viewedwww.youtube.comUPDATE: Darrin McGillis is running for Mayor of Miami Dade County, support him b...See More

randrand run
randrand run

IT IS A POLICY THAT WILL CHEW UP MORE TAX DOLLARS WE DON'T HAVE, AND IMPLEMENTATION WILL SPUR MORE ABUSE AND FRAUD. THINK BACK ON CAR INSPECTION STATIONS, IN THE PAST-THE DEFENSE RESTS!

randrand run
randrand run

THE TOTALITY NEGATES THE SPECK OF MERIT-TRASH THE FOOL!

randrand run
randrand run

HE CAN'T TAKE A LITTLE CRITICISM FROM A SECOND-RATE JOURNAL-GEEEEZ, FOLKS-THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHIN',EHHH?!

chopper12
chopper12

@Jstacy1999   I agreeee.!

chopper12
chopper12

@Bob Graham I live in Florida, but I don't deserve Rick Scott. I just didn' have a chance when wealthy Republicans voted for him. I can tell you for sure, that is an upside down state in every way you can imagine.

Mj2049
Mj2049

I think we should have lawyers in South Florida take drug test. We should start with Lawyers from Holland & Knight Miami office.

reade41
reade41

He should donate his proceeds from his sale of Solantic to the Treasury of Florida. Or not, however he feels is the proper action for a Governor of Florida to act. Rich Scott for President, choke, choke, gag!!!

joe
joe

Sorry you missed the point. oh i agree with the rebellion and voilence you pointed out. i was just posting to see if the people that are doing the cutting and makeing the rules and backing the ones doing all the changes are looking at the rest of the picture. and what their solution are.

 
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