From Progress Florida:
It’s bad enough Gov. Rick Scott is hard at work dismantling key consumer protections, but now he has a partner: our own Attorney General Pam Bondi. She seems to think her first duty is to protect some of Gov. Scott’s biggest corporate pals – the banks – instead of hard working Floridians. Recently Bondi fired Florida’s two leading attorneys investigating the epidemic of foreclosure fraud ravaging our communities.
June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards were tasked by then-Attorney General Bill McCollum last year to investigate allegations of widespread fraud taking place in foreclosures occurring around the state. They did their jobs well…perhaps too well for Pam Bondi.
The investigation by Clarkson and Edwards produced a blockbuster presentation entitled “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases2.” The presentation demonstrated numerous outrageous examples of blatant fraud and deception by banks and law firms initiating foreclosures known as “foreclosure mills.” Clarkson and Edward’s work was so effective it was used in other states in prosecuting foreclosure fraud3. Then in May, despite a recent glowing performance evaluation, both attorneys were suddenly told by a supervisor to immediately step down or be fired.
Foreclosures are ripping Florida families and communities apart. Due to investigations by attorneys general in all 50 states, journalists, and citizen activists alike, widespread fraud and abuse by the banks has been uncovered. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s attempt to slow or shut down investigations into illegal activities by banks must be met by thousands of voices of protest from Floridians. Too many of our neighbors are suffering for us to be silent.
Pam Bondi isn’t supposed to work for Gov. Scott, her campaign contributors, or the banks. As the people’s attorney she’s supposed to work for us. Join us in making sure she does.
Mark, Ray, and the rest of the Progress Florida team
P.S.: Please forward this email to your friends and family so we can turn up the heat on the need for an investigation of Attorney General Bondi’s firings.
1“Foreclosure fraud investigators forced out at attorney general’s office.” Palm Beach Post, 7/12/11.
2“Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases.” Office of the Attorney General: Economic Crimes Division, 1/11.
3“Florida fraud report key to New York foreclosure case.” Palm Beach Post, 7/16/11.
State Rep. Darren Soto also jumped on this shortly after Progress Florida:
Pam Bondi, Attorney General
Office of Attorney General
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Re – Public Records Request for Documents Related to Termination of Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson
Dear Madam General,
It has come to my attention that two assistant attorney generals, Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson, were recently terminated by your office for poor performance. However, public records indicate that these terminations occurred while they were in the midst of successful mortgage fraud litigation and in spite of prior successful reviews. As a member who represents an area ravaged by foreclosure fraud, these terminations present an overwhelming public concern.
REQUEST IS HEREBY MADE pursuant to Public Records Act, Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes that your office provides me with any and all records related to job performance of Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson within the past 3 years. Please also provide a list of all case numbers for all currently active cases managed by Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson for your office as well as the amounts of any settlements occurring within the past 3 years in any cases managed by Theresa Edwards or June Clarkson along with corresponding case number.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Darren M. Soto