When Cheryl Seinfeld was laidoff from the Republican Party of Florida as the finance director a couple years ago, the politically-connected attorney Scott Rothstein scooped her up in a matter of days.
His offer: $100,000 a year to serve as the director of governmental relations for his Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm in Fort Lauderdale.
"It was very kind of ambiguous,'' Seinfeld said while answering questions in a deposition in the RRA bankruptcy case posed by attorney Stefanie Moon of Berger Singerman working on behalf of trustee Herbert Stettin. "There was no specific job description."
Her two-hour deposition shed a little more light into Rothstein's efforts to use his firm to cozy up to politicians by hosting numerous fundraisers. Seinfeld, who started at RRA in 2008, organized fundraisers and asked employees and frequent donors to contribute to campaigns.
"I was a fancy check collector," said Seinfeld, who worked under attorney Grant Smith. "At times I felt like I was a glorified executive assistant."
The firm sometimes struggled to collect as many checks as it had promised candidates, or in the case of Alex Sink, who is running for governor, Seinfeld said she couldn't pin down Rothstein on what amount he had committed to her. One fundraiser for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a minimum goal of raising $250,000 but only one or two people had committed to help raise money, Seinfeld said.
"I went to Mr. Rothstein with my concerns and he said not to worry about it," she said.
When a fundraiser for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal fell short and his campaign called RRA, Rothstein said he would like to travel to Louisiana in person to deliver additional contributions. But that never happened.
"Mr. Rothstein cancelled the meeting several times," Seinfeld said.
When some events fell short, Seinfeld would send emails to COO Debra Villegas to obtain checks from other Rothstein entities or Scott's wife Kim Rothstein.
"Did you ever speak to Mrs. Rothstein about using her name for political donations?..." Moon asked. "You don't recall ever getting her consent to do so?"
Under questionning by her own lawyer Mel Black, Seinfeld said if Kim wrote a check that would be a form of consent.
Seinfeld didn't only sit at tables collecting checks and passing out nametags at fundraisers in South Florida -- she traveled with Rothstein on a chartered airplane to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota with lawyers at the firm including Stuart Rosenfeldt, Carlos Reyes and Smith. Also on the plane: political operative Roger Stone who had set up a consulting business with Rothstein and Shane Strum, who worked for Gov. Charlie Crist and is now his chief of staff Crist's attorney Jason Gonzalez and Rothstein's bodyguard Bob Scandiffio.