Gibbons Taps Fox for Hen House Gig

Where do you find a job after lobbying for a (potentially) corrupt failure of a subprime mortgage company? You go work for Gov. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) as commissioner of the state’s Mortgage Lending Division, of course!

Gibbons just tapped Joe Waltuch, who served as legislative counsel to New Century Financial, which filed for bankruptcy protection in April (after predicting it wouldn’t cover its weekly payroll) and is now under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in California and the Securities Exchange Commission.

Not surprisingly, some officials are pretty shocked by the choice, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports:

“I’m in total disbelief that the governor would appoint a former executive for a company that’s under federal criminal inquiry, bankrupt and caused countless people to lose their homes,” said Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas. “This company is a poster child for what not to do in mortgage lending. And now the appointee is supposed to watch out for consumers? Unbelievable.”

We’ve noted Gibbons’ decision-making skills here before, but he’d been laying low for awhile. The move is particularly surprising as both the House and the Senate are starting to probe the subprime mortgage industry now that an estimated 1.2 million people may lose their homes.