State Financial Regulator Resigns

February 21, 2003
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LANSING — Michigan’s chief banking and insurance regulator resigned suddenly today.

Frank Fitzgerald’s resignation as head of the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services is effective at the end of the day. A former Republican legislator prior to his appointment, Fitzgerald leaves after serving since April 2000 as head of the agency that was formed to oversee regulations for all Michigan financial services, including banks, credit unions, insurance, securities, and consumer lending.

“Serving as commissioner was an intensely challenging and rewarding experience,” Fitzgerald said in a prepared statement. “I was privileged to serve with a very professional staff that shared my passion for protecting the consumers of Michigan.”

Fitzgerald, a political appointee of former Gov. John Engler, offered no reason or explanation for his resignation, although he has said repeatedly of late that he wanted to fill out his four-year term under new Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

In recent weeks he has touted initiatives to increase scrutiny of stand-alone mortgage houses in Michigan and re-write laws governing credit unions during the present legislative session. Fitzgerald also has been a key player in efforts to re-write state law governing the small-group health insurance market in the state and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

OFIS spokeswoman Penny Davis said she could not speculate on the future of any of those initiatives.

“Those will have to be decided by who the governor appoints” to replace Fitzgerald, Davis said. “At that point, we’ll have to work with the new commissioner when they come on board in moving initiatives forward and prioritizing initiatives for the agency.”

Prior to his tenure as commissioner and as part of his 19 years of public service, Fitzgerald represented Eaton County in the Michigan House of Representatives for 12 years and served for almost three years as an Eaton County assistant prosecuting attorney.           

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