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Abrams listed his boss Rothstein as reference for Crist appointment

by George Bennett | November 4th, 2009

Attorney Steven Abrams listed his boss, Scott Rothstein, as one of three references when he applied this year for Gov. Charlie Crist’s appointment to fill a Palm Beach County commission vacancy. But Abrams, who got the appointment in March, says he and Rothstein weren’t very close and he’s confident he won the job based on his record as mayor of Boca Raton and his own lengthy ties to Crist.

Crist’s former chief of staff, Eric Eikenberg, said Abrams won the job on his own merit.

“I vouched for Steve Abrams from the beginning based on my long-time working relationship with him and the governor has known him for years,” said Eikenberg, who was chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw when Abrams was mayor of Boca Raton. Eikenberg is now campaign manager for Crist’s U.S. Senate bid.

Rothstein, head of a Fort Lauderdale law firm and a major political money-raiser for Crist and other elected officials, was accused by his own law partners this week of orchestrating a multimillion-dollar scheme to bilk investors. Abrams quit the firm Monday.

“Did he put in a good word for me? He was my boss,” Abrams said. “If you were to ask your boss permission to seek a job, wouldn’t you put your boss down as a reference?”

Abrams went to work for Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler’s Boca Raton office in April 2008. He said his initial contact with the firm was through Stuart Rosenfeldt, who lives in Boca. Abrams, who said he met Rothstein for the first time shortly before he was hired, said he had “very little” contact with Rothstein.

When Mary McCarty made a corruption-induced exit from the county commission in January, Abrams was one of several applicants for Crist’s appointment. In his application, he listed Rothstein, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel and former Delray Beach Mayor Jeff Perlman as references.

Abrams said he believes Rothstein “put in a good word for me,” but doesn’t know whether Rothstein spoke to Crist or someone on the governor’s staff.

Crist’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment this afternoon. Eikenberg said he never spoke to Rothstein about Abrams.

Said Abrams: “I think I would have had a real good shot at it without Rothstein. I’ve known the governor and a had a relationship with the governor for years.”

Abrams was an early Crist backer in 2006 when most of the county’s GOP establisment backed Crist’s Republican primary rival, Tom Gallagher, in the governor’s race.

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5 Responses to “Abrams listed his boss Rothstein as reference for Crist appointment”

  1. Judge William Berger Says:

    Just like me,it was just one big scam.That’s why I didn’t run for reelection.Because State Attorney Craig Williams was going to kick my butt.Because I stunk at being a Judge.

  2. Which Voice? Says:

    Rothstein, the self-named “Jewish Avenger”

    What self respecting Boca Raton Scum Atty. would not want a reference from that crook?

  3. Holocaust Says:

    Looks like Boca’s former Mayor was working for a Financial Nazi and orchestrated his own financial holocaust.

    Now Rothstein’s employees , including Abrams, want to plead “We never knew?”

    Insulting. Attorneys know EXACTLY what every other attorney in a firm is up to…if they claim ignorance, they were willing victims and are asserting INTENTIONAL IGNORANCE.

    We know what they knew.

    Madoff, Picower, Rothstein, Adler, Rosenfelt, Abrams…….anyone see the common denominators?

    If you work for a financial Nazi….what does that make you?

    Innocent?

    Yeah right.

  4. Lubitz Says:

    Abrams is a solid person and leader. Everyone is a few degrees away from good and evil. Judge Steve by the great body of work he has contributed to our community.

  5. The math Says:

    So how does Abrams make 90k from the BCC and 202k from RRA at the same time? Was his job at RRA part-time? Were they both full time positions? Should the taxpayers be getting some of his BCC pay back if he was working full time at RRA? How much would Abrams have had to bill while working at RRA to justify his salary? For that matter, did anybody keep track of the time he spent doing BCC business?

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