Tom Grady, a wealthy Naples resident and former Florida state representative (R-Naples), served in the Florida House from 2008 until 2010. He did not run for re-election in 2010. Instead, Kathleen Passidomo was ran unopposed in Naples. In 2011, Grady was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to be the Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation. He’s since left that job and is back in the private sector; watch for Tom Grady to run for public office again soon. In 2010, Grady introduced the Florida House version of a bill that would make it much, much easier for banks to commit fraud to steal families’ homes. Currently in Florida, and 23 other states, banks must go through the courts to foreclose and evict a family from their home. This allows for a family to defend their foreclosure in front of a judge. It’s called “Judicial Foreclosure.” While this system often fails families due to a variety of reasons, it is preferable to the “non-judicial foreclosure” process that rolls out the red carpet for any financial institution that claims a family’s home. Amazingly, Grady tried to get his dangerous, bank-serving bill passed by calling it the “Homeowner Relief and Housing Recovery Act.” Representative Passidomo, who replaced Grady as Naples’ Florida House representative, carried on Grady’s legislative legacy by introducing similar non-judicial foreclosure legislation in 2011 and 2012. Those bills also failed, but only after statewide citizen engagement, demonstrations, and protests. She is running for re-election against challenger Peter Richter.
Not deterred by the failure of his bill, Grady found a much more powerful method of letting financial fraud rein supreme in Florida. He did everything he could when he was head of a powerful state banking regulatory agency to use Florida’s taxpayers’ dollars to fund a luxurious lifestyle while hacking off Florida’s oversight into the financial industry.
Two journalists at the Tampa Herald-Tribune recently wrote As Fraud Soars, Funds are Cut for Watchdogs. Grady was on a “mission to slash costs at the state agency that oversees mortgage brokers, banks and securities firms. The moves come even as a new report shows Florida continues to lead the nation in mortgage fraud.” The article, and another previous one from the Herald-Tribune, also highlight a few of the expensive perks Grady enjoyed while “serving” the state of Florida, for example, “more than $6,000 on in-state travel, including $296 for a night at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota and $240 for a night at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.”
Tom Grady seems to represent government abuse, serving the financial sector at the grave peril of the majority of those he was elected or appointed to protect.
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