Her Word Is Not Her Bond

Former Broward County financial adviser Teressa Cawley had a bright career… until the SEC passed judgment on her

Not only did Cawley fail to disclose to the county her relationship with Book, she bent over backward to hide it when the SEC came calling, according to thebrief.

During their investigation the SEC asked Cawley's lawyers and First Union for specific information about the account from which they paid Book. After producing the document, Cawley's attorneys claimed they didn't recognize it. When pressed Cawley's defense admitted that Book had indeed been paid from a "business development" account.

According to the SEC, Cawley lied throughout a seven-day hearing held before an administrative judge in Miami. She lied about when and how much she agreed to pay Book and asserted that he had no influence whatsoever on First Union landing the contract. (Book, in his own testimony, contradicted Cawley on this and many other points.) She evaded tough questions by stating that a lot of things went on at her small office without her knowledge. When challenged with statements made by other First Union employees that contradicted her own version of events, Cawley clung to the time-honored strategy of assailing the credibility of her former colleagues, characterizing one of the people she managed as a "wild-eyed speculator," to quote thebrief.

Teressa Cawley: a "clear and present danger to the investing community"
Teressa Cawley: a "clear and present danger to the investing community"

In his brief Bartholomew recommends that Cawley be fined $35,000 and be prohibited from dealing with any broker or municipal securities dealer for six months. He also recommends that First Union pay $175,000 in penalties and return the $175,000 it earned under the Broward contract, with $97,000 in interest added on for good measure.

Cawley has until July23 to file a response to Bartholomew's brief. Then an administrative law judge will decide the matter. Cawley's office referred inquiries on the case to her attorney, Tom Tew, who did not return phonecalls.

Cawley left First Union in 1994 and now owns and runs her own company, Southern Municipal Advisers. Broward hasn't done business with her in years, says Cowan, but her connections have landed her a position as a financial adviser for Miami-Dade. That may change. In light of the SEC's investigation, Miami-Dade County is reviewing its contract withher.

Contact Bob Whitby at his e-mail address:

Bob_Whitby@newtimesbpb.com

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