“At this point, though, she has no reason to be outraged. Ms. Bondi is siding with banks in negotiations over how to settle widespread unscrupulous foreclosure practices by the nation’s largest lenders, so she doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the two lawyers.

Bondi picks the wrong side

By The Palm Beach Post

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi claims that she’s committed to fighting foreclosure fraud, but the preponderance of evidence suggests that she is fighting against Florida homeowners.

In May, Ms. Bondi forced out her office’s two leading foreclosure investigators, giving them 90 minutes’ notice to decide whether they wanted to resign or be fired. Former assistant attorneys general Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson chose to resign. Ms. Bondi tried to keep it all quiet, but The Post’s Kimberly Miller broke the story on July 13.

Ms. Bondi at first declined comment, calling it a personnel matter. Faced with mounting criticism, her office released a statement calling the lawyers’ performance “unacceptable.” Yet there is no paper trail to back that up.

In fact, as Ms. Miller reported, written evaluations before and after Ms. Bondi took office give both women very favorable reviews. That’s no surprise. They had negotiated a $2 million settlement with the Law Offices of Marshall G. Watson, a Fort Lauderdale foreclosure firm accused of forging documents, robo-signing and improper process serving, among other fraudulent practices.

More curious is the fact that the women were forced out shortly after former Deputy Attorney General Joe Jacquot left that job to become senior vice president for government affairs at Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services Inc. Ms. Bondi’s office is investigating LPS, which handles more than half of U.S. mortgage foreclosures, for fraud.

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