Torrens Pledges Criminal Investigation Into Tampa Electric Executives


“Perhaps when some of the TECO executives are hauled off in handcuffs, they will start to take worker safety seriously.”

TAMPA, Fla – May 16, 2018 – Ryan Torrens, consumer protection attorney and Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General, pledged to initiate a criminal investigation into Tampa Electric Company (TECO) executives when he is elected. The investigation would be regarding a June 2017 incident at the Big Bend power plant in which five workers and a sixth was injured after molten slag poured onto them.

“Five workers died, and another was injured due to TECO’s willful disregard for worker safety,” said Torrens. “So far TECO has only received a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine! This is not enough and will not cause TECO to take worker safety seriously. A criminal investigation must be launched into TECO for this and perhaps when some of the TECO executives are hauled off in handcuffs, they will start to take worker safety seriously.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined TECO a total of $139,424 for a willful violation of safety rules and for failing to provide its workers with protective safety gear. OSHA has the authority to refer the case to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation, but to date there have been no reports that this has happened.

“TECO uses money from the bills its customers pay to buy political influence and has been making significant contributions to candidates for Florida Attorney General. As the only candidate in this race refusing even a penny in campaign contributions from TECO, when attorney general, I will launch a criminal investigation into TECO’s epic failure to take worker safety seriously,” said Torrens as he headed to the Hillsborough County Courthouse Wednesday morning.

Torrens lauded the Tampa Bay Times for its investigative reporting on TECO’s failure to take worker safety seriously. “I applaud the Tampa Bay Times for uncovering the profound failure by TECO to take the safety of its workers seriously. I agree with the Tampa Bay Times that civil fines are not enough, and a criminal investigation must be launched! If OSHA and our Department of Justice will not do what’s right, as attorney general, I will.”

Torrens has been campaigning across the State of Florida, all the while fighting for his clients as a consumer protection lawyer. He says that he is running to put the Attorney General’s office back on the side of consumers again.

You can find more about Ryan Torrens and his campaign at RyanTorrens.com.

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Thank you for visiting our page! I am a consumer protection attorney who defends Florida homeowners in foreclosure and sues big banks, debt collectors, and other big corporations for ripping people off.

On June 1, 2017, I announced my candidacy for Florida Attorney General. Believing that how much justice you get should not depend on how much money you have, I ran on a platform of fighting for everyday Floridians and standing up to big corporate interests. During our 15 month campaign, I followed through on our pledge to refuse even one penny in big corporate campaign contributions. Though we fell short, we are proud of the grassroots campaign we ran and over 365,000 Floridians joined our cause and voted for our campaign. On election night, I promised to never stop fighting and I asked you to never stop fighting! So in this connection, we are going to keep this page - what used to be our campaign Facebook page - up and running. I am going to be focusing on the causes I’m most passionate about - fighting for our consumers, advocating for addiction recovery, and doing everything I can to make sure we advance a progressive, pro-people agenda here in Florida!

- Ryan Torrens

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