Lawton Chiles III faces string of lawsuits, business flops
Most of the suits are either foreclosure cases or claims that Chiles and his partners did not pay leases for construction equipment. In total, suits involving Chiles and his development businesses ask for more than $10 million in damages, though he could be obligated for far less. The lawsuits could be used politically to raise questions about Chiles' ability to manage a major organization as he runs for governor as an "outsider" who wants to clean up the political structure in Tallahassee.
...Chiles said the business failures came during an "excruciatingly difficult period" in his life and that the sharp housing downturn contributed to much of their problems. "I don't think me or anyone else knew the market would turn this way," Chiles said. "When the market values dropped by 50 percent or 60 percent, then your management skills are not going to make up the difference."