Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another High-Ranking Florida AG Official Flees To Join Foreclosure Mill; Joins Ex-Broward County Chief Judge As Recent Sweatshop Hires

The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • The former Economic Crimes Division director for the Florida Attorney General's office was hired this summer by a Fort Lauderdale law firm previously under investigation by the office for its foreclosure practices.

  • Mary Leontakianakos resigned from the attorney general's office in December with a Jan. 3 effective date. She joined the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson in June. Marshall C. Watson was one of the original firms to be investigated in an inquiry started in August by former attorney general Bill McCollum. The firm, admitting no wrongdoing, settled with the state in March for $2 million.

  • The move by Leontakianakos was pointed out in a 16-page memo written by Andrew Bennett Spark, an assistant attorney general in the Tampa office of economic crimes.

  • Spark's memo, which he emailed to media outlets Tuesday, lists several concerns he has with the attorney general's office. He said he was motivated to write the memo by the publicity surrounding the forced resignations of former state foreclosure investigators Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson. He also mentions the June hiring of former deputy attorney general Joe Jacquot by Lender Processing Services, which is also under state investigation.

  • "The people of the State of Florida are entitled to fair and honest government, independent of personal connections and powerful interests," wrote Spark, who has worked for the attorney general for about seven years and is the subject of an internal investigation regarding possible misuse of office equipment to conduct personal business.

  • In May, former Broward County Chief Judge Victor Tobin announced he was resigning from the bench to work for the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson. Tobin said his role at the firm was to be mostly supervisory, making sure appropriate practices are followed.(1)

For more, see Former state investigator takes job at foreclosure firm under office's investigation.

In a related story, see Sunshine State News: Bill Aims to Close Revolving Door Between AG, Probed Companies.

(1) Could it be that the generosity recently shown to those in (or running for) government positions by foreclosure mills/sweatshops is nothing more than payoffs masquerading as:

  • Political contributions?
  • Future lucrative employment opportunities?

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