USD’s real estate conference next week will be absent one embattled mortgage company chief, I just heard.

Here’s the news, from a press release:

Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts resulting from the proposed acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. by Bank of America, Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s chairman and CEO, will not be able to participate in the conference. A new keynote speaker will be announced as soon as possible.

Mozilo’s invitation sparked controversy last week, when protestors set up a website called disinvitemozilo.com. USD defended its invitation.

The effort’s picked up steam, garnering mention in the New York Post‘s Page Six column and other media. I just caught organizer Bonnie Russell on the phone, who said she’d just been speaking with ABC News about it. She was pleased by Mozilo’s cancellation.

“I guess I’ll have to return my little portable megaphone,” she said, referring to the protest she’d been organizing for next Tuesday’s conference.

KELLY BENNETT

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