Obama taps Gotti prosecutor to head SEC

in In the News
January 28th, 2013

Mary Joe oversaw late 1990s prosecution of mob boss John Gotti

From The Wall Street Journal: MarketWatch
By Ronald D. Orol
January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — President Obama said Thursday he is nominating Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney who supervised the prosecution of New York mob boss John Gotti, to head the Securities and Exchange Commission…

Obama chose White, who must be confirmed by the Senate, instead of seeking a second term for the current SEC chief, Elisse Walter. The decision to replace Walter was made a little more than a month after Walter became the head of the agency, replacing Mary Schapiro…

But White may face questioning about her defense in private practice in 2010 of Ken Lewis, who was at the helm of Bank of America Corp. during the height of the financial crisis when it received billions in a federal bailout. White represented Lewis in a 2010 civil lawsuit filed by then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accusing Lewis of misleading shareholders in the institution’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Cuomo now is the governor. The case is pending in a New York state court.

White’s representation of Lewis may raise concerns to some that she is part of a revolving-door culture between government and industry…

Cornelius Hurley, a professor at Boston University’s School of Law, argues that the former U.S. attorney’s appointment will play to the SEC’s law-and-order enforcement function as opposed to its supervisory responsibility because of White’s prosecutorial background.

“While her appointment presages a new era of muscular enforcement, time will tell whether that comes at the expense of the commission’s equally critical oversight responsibilities,” he said…

Read the full article at MarketWatch.com.