- Faith & Family
After a five-month probe into the forced resignation of two lawyers, it has been concluded that no one broke any laws or rules. The 84-page report, Attorney General Bondi said, should end any questions over the firing.
“Sloppy work will not be tolerated in this office,” Bondi said. “I think it clearly shows in no way the firings were politically motivated.” Bondi said she went over the report numerous times and she was taken aback by the utter lack of professionalism and performance by the two staff attorneys.
There appear to be critics of the investigation because the report was done by the inspector general working for Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. It’s like asking your best friend who you are paying to tell us about your character. Basically, the best friend will have good things to say because they have known this friend their entire life.
The Democrats would have preferred an independent, impartial investigation because Edwards and Clarkson had generated national headlines for exposing questionable mortgage lenders and law firms and had won a $2 million settlement. Five months after Bondi took office, she fired both of them — action that lead to public outcry.
This week Booker Perry was evicted from his home of 40 years where he owed just $2,000 on his mortgage. This story is an example that bank attorneys will foreclose when there is a better settlement that can be worked out. Many organizations have criticized Bondi for using her position to represent the interest of lenders more so than that of Floridians facing forecloseable actions.
Many believe that Bondi should prosecute corrupt bank executives, fight for mortgage companies to reduce principle on underwater homes and hold lenders accountable. In Florida many of the mortgage documents have shown to be fraudulent and a lot of Democrats are accusing Bondi of going soft on large banks and large mortgage companies.
As things continue to get messy in Governor Scott’s administration, he tends to sit quietly in his office. Recently, Bondi sued two foreclosure management companies. She filed a lawsuit, obtained a temporary injunction and limited asset freeze against two companies for misleading distressed homeowners. But these two management companies are small fish in an ocean of much bigger fish and large sharks.
Bondi is part of an executive team of attorneys general that is negotiating a settlement with five of the largest banks: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial. Some believe that the banks will get off too light, but the executive team is working to win a settlement on robo-signing and other fraudulent foreclosure practices. There is no way that Floridians can say that Bondi is not doing her job — the question is on whose side is she? Maybe she is on everyone’s side and she is walking a tightrope. At some point the governor will have to explain what his administration is doing concerning the big crooks and big fish with their fraudulent foreclosure practices.
By Roger Caldwell
Miami Times contributor