Legal Ethics

Ex-State Investigator Takes Job at Foreclosure Firm Once Targeted by Her Office

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A decision by a former economic crimes investigator with the Florida Attorney General’s office to go into private practice at a firm previously investigated by her office for its foreclosure practices is creating a stir in the Sunshine State.

Mary Leontakianakos, who resigned from the AG’s office in December, joined the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson in June.

The job change came to the attention of Florida media after an assistant attorney general in Tampa distributed a 16-page memo questioning the move, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Andrew Bennett Spark takes issue with Leontakianakos’ decision to work with a firm that was investigated last August by former Attorney General Bill McCollum. The firm resolved the matter in March by settling with the state for $2 million, though admitted no wrongdoing, according to the Miami Herald.

In his memo, Spark writes, “The people of the State of Florida are entitled to fair and honest government, independent of personal connections and powerful interests.” The Palm Beach Post reports that Spark is under investigation for possibly misusing office equipment for personal business.

The Watson firm is standing by its decision to hire Leontakianakos, telling the Post that it consulted with Florida’s ethics commission before bringing her on board.

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