Florida is one of the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Entire developments sit abandoned and stories of fraud bubble up on a near daily basis. So you would think that the state’s Attorney General’s office would be among those leading the investigations into illegal lending and processing practices that fueled the housing bubble then preyed on its victims.
According to former Assistant Attorney General Theresa Edwards, she was fired from the office for pursuing banks too aggressively. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Edwards claims that she and colleague June Clarkson were in the middle of investigating the state’s foreclosure mills when they were fired.
At the time they were let go, Edwards and Clarkson were collecting evidence of legal malpractice and fraud engaged in by banks and loan servicers.
The investigations had originated under Attorney General Bill McCollum. But once Rick Scott and now-Attorney General Pam Bondi were elected, the focus and the spirit of the Attorney General’s Office shifted.
That might have something to do with Bondi’s receipt of $57,500 from the securities and investment industries and $150,925 from the real estate industry during her election campaign. If the allegations are correct then what we see is yet another startling example of Republican leadership looking out for the interests of wealthy donors at the expense of justice for their constituents.
Photo from respres via flickr.