FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: MICHELLE DeMARCO
January 6, 2012 850.544.6246
STATEMENT BY SENATOR ELEANOR SOBEL ON ATTORNEY GENERAL PAM BONDI FIRINGS REPORT
TALLAHASSEE – State Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) on Friday issued the following statement on news of the release by the Attorney General’s office of the report on the firings of former Assistant Attorneys General June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards:
“At this late hour on Friday evening, while I have yet to receive and review a copy of the report, from the few comments I’ve heard it appears that the basic question has yet to be answered, namely, why were these top-notch mortgage fraud investigators fired? Five months after an investigation was first begun, we don’t appear to be any closer to the truth, and that is very troubling.
“While no one suggested any law was broken, what was suggested is that the pact between the attorney general’s office and the duty to protect consumers was broken with the dismissals of Ms. Clarkson and Ms. Edwards. They were not only on the front lines, but the first responders in protecting Floridians from losing their homes due to fraud and abuse. The issue at hand was politics and how deeply it played a role in their firings. Unfortunately, this report appears to bring us no closer to the answers.
“From the outset, the investigation requested by Attorney General Pam Bondi raised troubling questions. There was little to no independence as she turned to a colleague, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to look into her own conduct and that of her office. Much like a close relative investigating as opposed to a distant cousin, the pronouncement by Mr. Atwater’s office of “guilt-free” is hardly reassuring – to me, or the thousands of Florida homeowners looking for protection from foreclosure fraud abuse.”