Sign Of The Times: John Rodstrom Laid Off

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom got the email while he was sitting on the dais during Tuesday commissioner meeting.

A coworker of Rodstrom's at Wachovia told him the boss was in town and everybody had to meet in the conference room at the downtown office. Rodstrom knew what was happening -- he'd heard the rumors and knew the banking business was in as bad a shape as it's been in decades.

So he excused himself from the commission meeting and left to get fired.

Or laid off, or terminated, or whatever euphemism you want to use. Wachovia is shutting down his five-person office, where Rodstrom has specialized in organizing bond offerings. He says he's on leave until August 15 whereupon he'll officially lose his job.

But don't cry too hard for the commissioner (whose wife Charlotte is a Fort Lauderdale commish). He's made big money at Wachovia and has a net worth of about $4 million. He's also still picking up that $90,000-plus for his salary as a county commissioner.

"I have nothing to complain about personally," Rodstrom told me this afternoon on his cell phone during a golf outing in St. Petersburg, where's he's attending what may be his last conference on Wachovia's tab. "We’ve never seen anything like this in our industry. Bear Stearns is out of business, Lehman is teetering, our stocks have lost more than half their value, they fired our CEO ... it’s been really really tough."

[Damn, second time this week I've posted something that's already been up on another website. I simply can't blog well and travel at the same time. Anyway, here's a post that appeared on the Sentinel's politics blog.]

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
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