More Bondi Bullshit | Statement by Carlos Muniz, Deputy Attorney General/Chief of Staff RE the Firing of Fraudclosure Investigators June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards

4closureFraud's picture

Look,
if you are going to make up accusations on why you fired the two top
fraudclosure investigators in the country, have your lies ready before
you do it. It has been two months since June and Theresa were fired,
over a week that the story went national, and now you come out with this
rhetoric?

I happen to personally know these fine women and in my
opinion the below statement is a flat out lie spun to deflect the
negative attention...

As Matt Weidner puts it...

After
a week of coverage, Florida’s Attorney General is finally setting the
record straight.  The attorneys working in her office who were
investigating foreclosure fraud were not doing their jobs properly.  And
not to worry Floridians, because Bondi now has 8 (Count em, Eight!)
attorneys investigating all the wrongdoing.  Now I’m sure that these 8
new investigators didn’t need to get any information from Clarkson and
Edwards and I’m sure that just sending both of them packing
unceremoniously was the correct thing to do….after all, they were
performing poorly.

 

And importantly, Florida’s Attorney General is ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO FIGHTING FORECLOSURE FRAUD. In fact, Florida’s AG has not just added resources to aid in these investigations, no our AG Pam Bondi has, “dramatically increased the investigator resources devoted to this issue.”


And
because there are so many precious state resources devoted to this
issue, I expect that there will be press conferences and high profile
announcements any day.  For the first six months Florida’s Governor and
Attorney General have been pounding on the Pill Mills every day.  Press
Conferences, Photo Ops, Cheerleaders, Marching Bands.  Now that they are
apparently putting this same passion and focus and passion on the
foreclosure problems, I’m sure we can all expect  similar results and
attention.

I'm sure you can sense a tad bit of sarcasm from Matt's post. I wouldn't hold my breath...

Statement by Carlos Muniz, Deputy Attorney General/Chief of Staff

At
the end of May, with my approval, June Clarkson's and Theresa Edwards'
supervisor met with them and gave them the option either to resign or be
fired.  The reason was entirely related to the attorneys’ job
performance.

As reflected in an April review of our agency’s South
Florida Economic Crimes Bureau, the attorneys’ shortcomings included
problems with: “proper identification and analysis of legal issues;”
“judgment in discussing matters related to pending investigations with
third parties;” and “professionalism to opposing counsel.”  Clarkson and
Edwards were fully aware of these deficiencies, since their division
director had met with them three times over a several-month period to
discuss their performance and to demand improvement.  It was only out of
basic professional courtesy that I authorized giving Clarkson and
Edwards the option to resign rather than be fired outright; their
performance was unacceptable, but they had not engaged in deliberate
misconduct.

It had been the agency’s preference not to publicly
criticize Clarkson’s and Edwards’s performance or to discuss the
circumstances surrounding their departure, because doing so would have
been inconsistent with the decision to give the attorneys the option to
resign.  However, for reasons known only to them, the attorneys have
baselessly suggested that they were the victims of “politics” and that
our agency is uninterested in pursuing foreclosure-related wrongdoing. 
Their reaction is unfortunate, because nothing could be farther from the
truth.  Clarkson and Edwards are no longer with the agency because of
their poor performance and their failure to improve after multiple
warnings.  If anything, it would have been "political" and irresponsible
for the agency to retain low-performing attorneys solely out of a fear
that their involvement in high-profile investigations would cause an
otherwise mundane personnel decision to be sensationalized.

Attorney
General Bondi has made protecting consumers and fighting fraud a top
priority of her administration.  One of her first acts as attorney
general was to personally recruit seasoned and respected prosecutor
Richard Lawson to head the agency’s Economic Crimes division, ensuring
that the unit would be led by someone with the commitment and the skill
to hold wrongdoers accountable.  Under Attorney General Bondi’s
leadership and direction, our agency has sought aggressively to protect
consumers from foreclosure-related misconduct, with the result that we
have ongoing investigations of nine foreclosure law firms and
businesses.  We have increased from two to eight the number of attorneys
investigating so-called “foreclosure mills,” and we have dramatically
increased the investigator resources devoted to this issue.

All
Floridians can have confidence that the Bondi Administration hires and
evaluates agency attorneys on the basis of merit, professionalism, and
ethics, and that we strive always to find the best possible attorneys to
serve the people of our state.

That's all they got, and it
doesn't even hold water... They have been scrambling to come up with
something since the story broke. Too bad it will backfire beyond their
imagination...

Some quotes from the Palm Beach post on the matter...

In
his statement Thursday, Muniz refers to an April 28 review of the South
Florida bureau and Chief Assistant Attorney General Robert Julian that
lists staff shortcomings, including "proper identification and analysis
of legal issues" and "professionalism to opposing counsel."

 

"Hopefully improvement will be made in these areas in the future," the review concluded.

 

It does not mention Edwards or Clarkson by name.

No it does not...

Just
seven days earlier, in an interim evaluation of Edwards, Julian praised
her work, saying it has been "instrumental in triggering a nationwide
review" of foreclosure practices.

 

"I cannot overstate the degree to which I respect Ms. Edwards and her work with this unit," Julian wrote.

Well, isn't that nice...

Both Edwards and Clarkson also received high marks in evaluations conducted in the fall.

 

Clarkson was given "above expectation" or "exceptional" rankings in 14 of 15 categories.

 

Edwards received "above expectation" or "exceptional" rankings in all 15 categories.


"The
shortcomings outlined are hard to understand when you put them beside
the evaluations of 2010," Edwards said Thursday. "I dispute the version
of events released by the attorney general's office."

That
doesn't sound like  problems with: "proper identification and analysis
of legal issues" and "professionalism to opposing counsel."

But...

The
investigations have faced setbacks. The Boca Raton-based law firm of
Shapiro & Fishman won a ruling in the 4th District Court of Appeal
in April to quash a subpoena it was issued last year. The state is not
challenging the decision. A similar subpoena to the Law Offices of David
J. Stern was upheld in Broward County Circuit Court, but has been
appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeal.

Muniz said Thursday the resignations had nothing to do with politics.

 

"The
attorneys have baselessly suggested that they were the victims of
'politics' and that our agency is uninterested in pursuing
foreclosure-related wrongdoing," Muniz said. "Their reaction is
unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth."

Time to put on the boots. The shit is getting thick...

I can see why the fired investigators are confused though...

"It
seems strange," Edwards said, "that they would remove the two attorneys
who knew the most about the background and had gotten the farthest in
the investigations without any opportunity to provide transition notes."

Yea, exactly...

So, poor performance or something else?

I'm going with the latter...

I think it may be time to let Bondi know how you feel about this...

http://www.facebook.com/pambondi

http://twitter.com/#!/PamBondi

http://myfloridalegal.com/contact

 

www.4closureFraud.org

Subscribe to this author's posts feed via RSS