Bondi: ‘focused on doing what’s right’

From the report / interview…

TAMPA — Casual in jeans, but still put together, Pam Bondi comes to the Nola Café as breezy as she was when she worked for the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office.

Now, nine months into her new job as Florida’s attorney general, Bondi doesn’t want to go on camera for an interview or be photographed Friday morning because she doesn’t have time to get all made up.

Although her schedule was supposed to allow for 30 minutes with a reporter, she winds up staying nearly three times that long, talking about her public and private priorities as she munches on beignets while an aide waits in an SUV.

That’s when it first started to come up….

I’m not sure if it was the beignets or the image of her as breezy…

On her left hand, she has a splint on one finger and a bandage on another, evidence of a leash incident involving her 165-pound St. Bernard, Luke. She also wears an engagement ring, evidence of her upcoming early spring wedding to Tampa ophthalmologist Greg Henderson, whom she has dated for nearly five years.

Here is where I started to sweat and had to hold it back by placing my hand over my mouth…

Still, not sure of what it really was.

Was it the splint and bandage? I’m not one for blood and injuries, they makes me queasy.

Or, was it that she is engaged to someone old enough to be her father?

Then there was this…

Henderson, she said, has three grown sons and a daughter with whom she is close. And Bondi, 45, confides she is considering becoming a foster mother to a young child.

That almost seemed to settle my stomach, but not quite.

She kinda lost me when she said she was “considering becoming a foster mother to a young child. ”

Then there was this…

“There are so many kids out there and I get to see these kids being bumped around from home to home in really awful situations,” she said. “I would only do it if I knew that I could be committed and have the time.”

That’s when it started to come up in my mouth.

Does she not realize what she is saying?

But here is what really did it, and now I have to go brush my teeth and wash my shirt…

She is frustrated at the slow pace of things in Tallahassee and the need to prioritize. But she clearly loves her job, although she professes disappointment at some of the political shots she has taken. In particular, she has taken heat for the firings of two attorneys — Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson — who were forced out in May, despite positive job reviews. Both lawyers had been involved with investigations into law firms handling foreclosures on behalf of banks.

From the Interview…

Q: What are your biggest disappointments and challenges in your relatively new office?

A: That people make things political, and it’s not about politics. It’s about fighting foreclosure fraud; it’s about protecting consumers;

I’m focused on doing what’s right.

Q: So you don’t see yourself as political on any level?

A: Well I’m a Republican, so sure, and I’m pro life. Sure, on issues that I deeply care about, of course, and I believe in limited government and I think that can be considered political, but this lawsuit is about the constitutionality of the law.

Q: Can you talk about what the issues are?

A: This week. Consumer protection. We have a big consumer protection issue that’s affecting homeowners in our state, so we’ll be proposing legislation on that. We need some laws toughening consumer protection. I’ve been working with the state attorneys. There are some laws that need to be tougher in the foreclosure area.

Is it the (un)Fair Foreclosure Act she is proposing?

Bondi and Passidomo are BFF ya know…

But it’s not political, right?


We will see this week!

I’ll bet big money it is…

Q: Let me ask about the Clarkson and Edwards thing. Can you talk at all about what was behind that firing?

A: Sure. That was done at a staff level and it went up through the chain of command. I knew two employees in South Florida had been let go. That’s as much as I knew. I have 1,100 people in my office. And so now there have been some questions raised. I had some questions regarding documentation, procedures followed, so I requested, not even my inspector general, an outside inspector general to review the case and report back so while that investigation is pending that I requested, I don’t feel comfortable talking about the details, but as soon as that investigation is compete …

Q: Do you know when that might be?

A: Hopefully, within the next few weeks, but I don’t know. I have no idea, because I’ve stayed out completely of the investigation. I would like to talk about it, but I want to respect the integrity of the investigation.

Q: And you think it’s important to have an outside investigation to …

A: It’s perception. I firmly believe that the inspector general for the attorney general can be objective. But Democrats, a Democrat was raising issues, so I said, “Get an outside inspector general.”

And so she did. /sarcasm

You can check out the full interview here…

But I suggest you go rinse out your mouth before you do…