TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Even as Pam Bondi appeared on stage at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, a growing chorus of Floridians was demanding to know if the state attorney general’s support for Donald Trump crossed legal and ethical lines.
It’s being called a Pay to Look the Other Way scandal: Did Bondi drop plans to investigate complaints from more than 100 Florida residents that they had been defrauded by Trump University just days after she received a $25,000 campaign donation from a Trump foundation?
Damien Filer, political director of the progressive advocacy group Progress Florida, says his group just delivered more than 6,000 petitions from across the state to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking for an investigation into the state’s chief legal officer.
“When the people of Florida feel that they have been wronged somehow and that there is potentially a legal remedy for it, it’s their job to look out for them and stand up for them, and the appearance here certainly is that something very different is happening,” Filer stresses.
Editorial boards from across the state and several watchdog groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, have also called for further investigation into the matter.
Bondi’s office insists there is no connection between the donation and a decision not to investigate Trump University, saying she referred complainants to the class action suit that is currently ongoing in New York.
Filer says the situation with Bondi is not unique, but rather a symptom of the much larger problem of the role money plays in politics.
“The so-called rules that we have in place are so leveraged against we the people that I really believe that anyone who is in public office has an ethical obligation to be above and beyond when it comes to transparency,” he states.
Massachusetts attorney J. Whitfield Larrabee recently filed Federal complaints seeking criminal indictments against both Bondi and Trump over the same donation in question, alleging violation of Federal bribery laws.
Source: Public News Service, Reprinted with permission.
Author: Mona Shand, Public News Service – FL.