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Dems use Riverside National Bank failure to slam Atwater

by George Bennett | April 19th, 2010



Democrats are using the failure of Riverside National Bank to slam Florida Senate President and chief financial officer candidate Jeff Atwater, who oversaw business development at Riverside’s handful of Palm Beach County branches from 2002 to 2009.

The Florida Democratic Party said Riverside’s failure undermines Atwater’s “claim to be someone who will stand up to fraud, waste and abuse.”

But Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, said he was never on Riverside’s board or one of its operating officers and “had no opportunity to influence the overall policies of the bank.”

Federal regulators closed Riverside on Friday. Its 58 offices from Palm Beach County to Volusia County were taken over by TD Bank, the U.S. arm of Toronto-Dominion bank. The failure is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Deposit Insurance Fund $492 million.

Riverside had $2.8 billion in deposits, according to the FDIC. Deposits at its five Palm Beach County offices totaled $148 million, or about 5 percent of the bank’s total.

Atwater was described over the years as a vice president or regional president at Riverside, but spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said he functioned as a “regional business development manager” at the bank’s Palm Beach County branches before stepping down in February 2009 to concentrate on his duties as Senate president. Atwater’s 2008 pay from Riverside was $199,833 and he listed his title as “EVP” on his 2009 financial disclosure statement.

Atwater released a statement today saying he was “saddened” by the news about Riverside and adding that “I was never a member of the Board of Directors or an operating officer of the institution, and had no opportunity to influence the overall policies of the bank.”


6 Responses to “Dems use Riverside National Bank failure to slam Atwater”

  1. Truth in Government Says:

    Very interesting comments. I am not sure it is just the Democrats that will use this to stop Atwater. His claim to fame is he has soooo much banking and financial experience. Now, when he gets caught, he claims he was only a teller? Actually, I would trust a teller more that “My Widdle Baby”.

  2. Straight Facts Says:

    Jeff Atwater cares about one thing – Jeff Atwater’s political future.

  3. Josh Says:

    And this guy is running for CFO? Really?

  4. Yolly Says:

    maybe the Democrats should remind Obama that he got 980K from Goldman Sachs..hey kettle….Democrats have no call on this one. CFO for Jeff Atwater only the Democrats are dumb enough to blow this many elections bc they though a community organizer could be president compared to I don’t know anyone else with experience.

  5. Local Yokel Says:

    “Straight Facts” is 100% on the money. Senator Jeff is only “out for Senator Jeff.” Just another pandering politician in the Charlie Christ mold. “Promise them anything, but remember your contributors.”

    The founder of Riverside was recently sanctioned by the Department of Insurance for some sketchy financial dealings with the insurance company he has/had an interest in.

    Not that that has anything to do with anything, but Senator Jeff received almost $200,000 for developing buisiness – just curious to know what sort of business development Senator Jeff did and just how successfull he was in bringing business to Riverside.

  6. Atwater still dishonest! Says:

    Atwater claimed in last weekend’s speech that “we’re not taking any more of your hard earned money” while bragging that California and New York are bankrupt and Florida has the highest bond rating. Yet, he fails to explain how he managed to balance Florida’s budget last year and this year with FEDERAL subsidies which come from whom? The taxpayers, so in the end yes he is taking our “hard earned money” and using it to plug his budget’s holes so he doesn’t have to raise money from state taxes and account for that decision at election time. Meanwhile, he hopes to double his bets by scoring points and name recognition criticizing the federal Congress that rescued him and his state’s budget. Pathetic. Notice also that he didn’t wax about balancing the federal budget when Bush spent money like it grew on trees and erased years of budget surpluses prior to his 8 years in office.

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