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Financial Services Chief Keeps His Job…For Now

July 29th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The state’s top mortgage regulator is keeping his job, at least for another two weeks. The governor and cabinet gave Financial Regulations director Don Saxon until August 12th to come back with proposals to insure convicted felons are not being licensed as mortgage brokers. In the interim, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the office will be thoroughly investigated.

The number of felons given licenses to be mortgage brokers and why will be the focus of a two-week investigation. With his job on the line, the states top financial regulator is disputing published reports that the number of felons licensed as mortgage brokers could be as high as ten thousand people.

If we made mistakes, they were honest mistakes, Saxon said. Contrary to media reports we do not have a systematic process of licensing felons.

The embattled director is now proposing a rule prohibiting issuing a license to anyone convicted of a felony in the last seven years.

CFO Alex Sink says the proposed change is too little too late.

I happen to believe, and have been told, that there are many systemic problems about the licensing operations, Sink said.

Governor Charlie Crist also indicated his patience was growing thin.

My confidence is shaken, candidly, Crist said.

Over the next two weeks auditors will look at how mortgage licenses are granted, how much scrutiny felons are given, and whether the agency is following the law.

The embattled regulator is confident the truth will reign out.

Theyll find out that weve been making the right choices for the things that we believe are in the best interest of the general public, Saxon said.

His job depends on it.

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