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NEWS RELEASE
Oct 04, 2000


CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

Ca. Department of Insurance Begins to Clean House

Consumer Advocates Applaud Commissioner Low's Removal of Legislative Deputy With Close Ties to Insurance Industry
California Insurance Commissioner Low has dismissed Acting Deputy Commissioner of Legislative Affairs Tim Hart. Mr. Hart, a lobbyist with the Association of California Insurance Companies prior to his employment with the Department of Insurance, was considered hostile to consumer protection proposals by consumer advocates.

Advocates are urging Commissioner Low to remove other Department of Insurance employees with close ties to the insurance industry. Under former commissioner Quackenbush, a number of high level officials, in addition to Mr. Hart, were too closely tied to the insurance industry, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). This created an ethic among the Department's upper management oreiented towards protecting the insurance industry's interests at the expense of consumer and policyholder needs.

"Mr. Quackenbush may be gone, but much of his legacy will remain as long as his pro-industry deputies still work at the Department. We are pleased with Commissioner Low's decision to remove a former insurance industry lobbyist from his management team and encourage him to sweep out any others with ties to insurers. Today's decision is a signal that the necessary house cleaning has begun," said Douglas Heller, consumer advocate with FTCR.

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