Liar, Liar

The SEC cites other examples in which "Cawley firmly and repeatedly denied the truth, apparently confident she would not be found out." In those other examples, the SEC notes, "the truth came to light not because Cawley voluntarily corrected the record, but because her own lawyers intervened, obviously concerned that Cawley had not testified truthfully."

The brief continues: "Cawley's conduct was nothing short of reprehensible, and it establishes conclusively that she is a clear and present danger to the investing community. Such conduct is doubly disturbing coming as it does from the current financial adviser to Miami-Dade County, one of the largest municipal debt issuers in the United States."

Although First Union under Cawley's tenure was most successful in Broward County, it had modest success in Miami-Dade as well. Cawley relied on both Julio Gonzalez-Rebull, Jr.'s company, JGR & Associates, and Ron Book to help her make the right contacts. On April 20, 1993, the SEC asserts, Cawley and Book met for lunch. In addition to discussing Book's fees, "Cawley asked Book whether he would assist her by introducing her to the political leadership in Dade County. Book immediately agreed to help Cawley and, within days of the April 20 lunch, Book arranged and attended a meeting with Cawley and Dade County Commissioner Arthur Teele."

The SEC brief notes that Teele had been Book's law partner in the late Eighties and was, in 1993, chairman of the county commission's finance committee. "Cawley had been trying to meet privately with Teele since at least January 1993; Book arranged such a meeting in a matter of days," the SEC says. "Although Cawley repeatedly denied it, the evidence is that the Teele meeting was part and parcel of her attempts to secure First Union's participation in several Dade County municipal finance transactions."

In the months that followed, First Union landed at least one deal in Dade County involving the water and sewer department. Book and JGR also apparently helped First Union land a $13 million bond deal in North Miami Beach in 1994, the SEC affirms, maintaining that "the evidence is overwhelming...[that] Cawley paid both JGR and Book a fee based on the North Miami Beach business."

Cawley tried to hide the payments to Book and Rebull, according to the SEC, by creating false invoices. "In a desperate attempt to defeat this evidence, Cawley engaged in a rolling series of outright lies," the SEC charges.

Cawley and her attorneys are expected to file a response to the SEC brief later this month. The SEC has asked the administrative law judge overseeing the disciplinary case to suspend Cawley's securities license for six months and fine her $35,000. The SEC is also seeking nearly $450,000 in fines from First Union.

After leaving First Union, Cawley created her own company, Southern Municipal Advisers, and thanks to the contacts she had made on the Miami-Dade County Commission, was selected in 1995 to be one of the county's financial advisors. That may soon change, however. In light of the SEC allegations, the county is reviewing its association with Cawley.

In the meantime, maybe she should give some thought to enrolling in bartending school. She can take my spot. Thanks to her I now have renewed faith in the iniquity of this place.

jim_defede@miaminewtimes.com

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