Ohio AG voted out of office, finds federal gig

Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 15, 2010, 12:25pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Outgoing Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray reportedly will head the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's enforcement branch.

Elizabeth Warren, the special White House adviser putting together the agency, selected Cordray, according to Bloomberg.

The bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul and is tasked with regulating consumer financial products. Its employees are currently part of the U.S. Treasury Department and will officially start with the bureau in July 2011.

Credit cards and mortgages are the bureau's first priorities, Warren has said.

Cordray, for his part, has participated in the multi-state investigation of mortgage servicers for allegedly falfsifying documents.

The nationwide scandal has called into question the accuracy and legitimacy of documents that lenders relied on to evict people from their homes. Employees of a handful of lenders already have acknowledged in depositions that they signed off on foreclosure documents without reading them.

According to his office, Cordray has sued GMAC Mortgage LLC and its corporate parent, Ally Financial Inc., accusing them of using fraudulent affidavits in court cases over foreclosures in Ohio.

Cordray, a Democrat, recently lost his re-election bid to former Lt. Gov. and U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a Republican.

Cordray was elected to the attorney general post in November 2008 to serve the remainder of the term held by the previous attorney general, Marc Dann. Dann had resigned in May 2008 amid a sex scandal.

Prior to being attorney general, Cordray served as the Ohio State Treasurer and as treasurer of Franklin County, Ohio. He also served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives and as the state's first solicitor.

Soon after Cordray's failed re-election bid, his name had been tossed around as a possible state Supreme Court justice.

Justice Maureen O'Connor won election in November as the high court's chief justice. That means she must vacate her current post, which she was elected to in 2008 for six years.

According to a report by The Cleveland Plain Dealer last month, Cordray's name had "emerged as a possibility."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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