Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Florida's Attorney General is drawing heat from Democrats after a group backing her re-election accepted a $25,000 donation from a Donald Trump charity group.
The criticism comes as Trump faces complaints over so-called wealth seminars.
While New York's attorney general has sued over the seminars, only one complaint has been filed with Pam Bondi's office since she was elected about the get-rich programs put on by organizations affiliated with Trump. That complaint was filed in 2011 by a Delray Beach retiree who said he lost $26,000 that he paid for a three-day seminar in which he learned nothing.
Bondi spokeswoman Jenn Meale said at the time of that complaint, officials in Bondi's office notified the man that New York state was investigating similar complaints against "Trump University," and suggested he contact officials in New York.
Those complaints in New York led to a lawsuit filed in August by that state's attorney general alleging that the seminars ripped off 5,000 consumers. Meale said consumers in Florida who may have been victims of the alleged wrongdoing would be covered under the New York suit, if the state wins.
The new controversy arose when not long after New York sued over the Trump seminars, Meale said Florida would review that lawsuit as it does all others by attorneys general in other states. Then, a few days later, the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave $25,000 to And Justice for All, a political committee supporting Bondi's re-election, though it isn't part of her campaign.
The organization's treasurer, Nancy Watkins, told the Tampa Bay Times that the group was "comfortable with the propriety of the contribution from the Trump Foundation."
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.