Insurance Commissioner asks for suspension from office after GA Governor asks for his resignation

Insurance Commissioner asks for suspension from office after GA Governor asks for his resignation

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Commissioner Jim Beck announced Thursday that he is suspending himself from office. This comes after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp asked for his resignation after he was charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering in a 38-count federal indictment on Tuesday.

The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire released the following statement Thursday:

Today, Commissioner Jim Beck announced that he is suspending himself from office. This means he will be absent from making decisions with regard to the daily operations of the Department of Insurance. In his absence, Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner Drew Lane will perform the duties of the Insurance Commissioner as provided for by Georgia law.

The Department anticipates Governor Kemp will appoint an acting Insurance Commissioner who will serve until the case against Commissioner Beck is resolved. The employees of the Department of Insurance remain focused on their service to the people of Georgia and will continue to work hard to fulfill their mission.

Here is the letter Governor Kemp sent to Beck on Wednesday:

(SOURCE: wtoc)
(SOURCE: wtoc)

Thursday, Beck responded to Kemp’s request with the following letter:

The charges stem from Beck’s time as general manager of operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association, which was created to provide high-risk property insurance to Georgia homeowners.

Beck is accused of devising a scheme to defraud the association of millions of dollars. Beck’s lawyer released a statement saying Beck “strongly denies” the allegations.

WTOC received a statement from the Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner on Tuesday.

The accusations that have been made against Commissioner Beck today have no bearing on his service as an elected official to the people of Georgia. The Commissioner maintains his innocence and he is entitled to the same presumption of innocence that every citizen of Georgia walks into a courtroom with when accused of a crime. The Department is focused on fulfilling the vital mission we have to protect Georgia consumers. The incredible employees of our Department will get up tomorrow morning and go back to work, including Commissioner Beck.
Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner

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