June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards
Photo by Melanie Bell

Attorneys’ ouster from AG’s office called political

Clarkson and Edwards had no sense their jobs were in jeopardy — until late February when one of Bondi’s chief deputies, economic crimes division chief Richard Lawson, showed up.

“He said, ‘All I hear about in Tallahassee is about you and Theresa. I don’t want to hear anything more about you and Theresa,’ ” Clarkson recalled being told.

According to Clarkson, Lawson said he had received complaints from opposing counsel about the two being “aggressive and unprofessional,” particularly from lawyers for LPS, the process server. For three days, they said he grilled them about their cases with their office doors wide open.

“We were being chastised,” Clarkson said. “It was belittling and degrading. We were absolutely stunned. Everyone in the office heard.”

They began to feel micromanaged but were still shocked when they were called into Julian’s office and told they were being fired. Shocked, they regained their composure enough to ask if they could resign and were told they could.

They said Julian told them he was ordered to fire them, and “it was the hardest thing he had ever done in his life.”

“He said it was coming from the top, and there was nothing he could do about it,” Clarkson said, adding Julian gave no reason for the firings.

That Sunday, when Clarkson and Edwards showed up to collect their belongings, the entire staff showed up to help in a show of solidarity.

While some are calling for Clarkson and Edwards to be reinstated, they say they’re not interested.

They have started their own law firm, Edwards & Clarkson, in Hollywood and plan to represent homeowners in foreclosure defense. They say they’ve received calls from potential clients around the state.

“We’re just trying to get our business off the ground and put this behind us,” Clarkson said.

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