After Anthony Casa took a leave of absence from his leadership of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts for sending lewd video texts, his (at least) temporary replacement vowed to keep the organization on track and seemed to keep the door open for Casa’s return.
“In light of recent events, Anthony made the difficult decision to step away,” Katie Sweeney, executive vice president of strategy at AIME, wrote in Facebook post. “The industry and its current leaders have some hard work ahead to ensure women are treated with the same respect as our male counterparts. I trust that AIME and Anthony will play a role in that positive change. I intend to make sure of it.”
Casa announced Thursday he is taking a leave of absence after a turbulent week at AIME – but stopped short of resigning entirely.
On Sunday, when The Mortgage Note and others shared videos he sent to Quicken executive Austin Niemiec falsely alleging his wife Theresa had sexual relations with United Wholesale Management CEO Mat Ishbia. Casa later followed up those videos with more inappropriate texts to Niemiec before Mrs. Niemiec filed a defamation lawsuit against him.
AIME quickly lost two of its three platinum sponsors for 2020, as well a silver and bronze level sponsor. Other sponsors condemned his remarks, with UWM saying “Anthony Casa is separate from AIME” – even though Casa is the founder and chairman of the organization.
Sweeney and AIME President Marc Summers are leading the organization in Casa’s absence.
In an earlier Facebook post, Sweeney wrote, “What Anthony Casa did was wrong. I am hurt and upset about it.” She also said Casa put her in a difficult position.
“I am saddened by what happened because his behavior does not reflect the values of our organization. As Anthony’s friend, I am angry that he let his emotions get the best of him and I know he is better than that. As a female, I am overwhelmed,” she wrote.
“The countless well-intended messages I have received telling me that I need to stand up for women has been quite honestly really hard on me. Hard not because of the topic, but because of the pressure to speak on the behalf of a gender. I can only speak for myself as a female leader. I am on the front lines every day in this battle bridging gender divides in the mortgage industry. It is my daily life so the vulgar comments made towards a woman do not have my support or blind eye. It is a difficult position to be in when someone you respect and care for says or takes an action that wholeheartedly goes against everything you believe.
She also wrote, “I received the most amazing message last night over dinner from my father. He said, “Leaders run towards the fire, NOT away from it.” I believe in Anthony and I know he will learn and grow from this experience, and I intend to play a large role in holding him accountable to do so.”
Which, again, seems to open the door to his return to AIME.