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Official invests despite possible conflict of interest

Joni James of the St. Petersburg Times reviewed tax returns to show that Florida's elected insurance commissioner, Tom Gallagher, invested millions of dollars in insurance-related stocks in his last year on the post. "And as a member of the Cabinet in 2004, Chief Financial Officer Gallagher voted to approve a natural gas pipeline for an energy company whose stock he traded to the tune of more than $1-million before and after the vote." The investigation found that on the day Gallagher made the motion that AES Corp. of Virginia be permitted to lay pipeline under delicate coral reefs off Broward County, Gallagher held 1,000 shares in the company. The records also show that along the way, Gallagher has not been shy about buying and selling stocks whose interests overlap with his role near the top of state government. Also see: Follow up stories on Gallagher

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