Tags: SEC | Chief | Said | Losing | White | House | Support

SEC Chief Said to Be Losing White House Support

Sunday, 03 November 2002 12:00 AM

The newspaper, which quoted Republican sources, said that White House officials were "exasperated" that Pitt's handling of the appointment "had created a political crisis" for President George W. Bush days before the Nov. 5 midterm elections.

SEC officials told the newspaper that the search for members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was so rushed and extensive that the agency hadn't even begun to conduct formal background checks on the candidates when the appointments were actually voted on.

It was only after the appointments had been approved that the entire commission found out that Webster had chaired the audit committee of an Internet company that is facing allegations of fraud, it said. The company, U.S. Technologies, is facing shareholder lawsuits for alleged fraud over accounting problems.

Webster privately told Pitt before the SEC vote that officials at U.S. Technology were being questioned about possible fraud, but Pitt didn't relay that information to the other SEC commissioners, the newspaper said.

The SEC is conducting an investigation into the selection process for the accounting oversight body.

Bush can't force Pitt to leave the SEC, the Post said, but he can remove him from the chairmanship of the agency.

Separately, the man who was widely believed to have been first choice for the accounting oversight board, fund manager John H. Biggs, told Bill Moyers of the Public Broadcasting System that it would be "extraordinary" if Pitt survived in his position.

In an interview aired Friday, Biggs -- who is retiring as head of pension fund giant TIAA-CREF -- said of Pitt: "I think he has lost the confidence of his commission and I think he's lost the confidence of the American people. And I think at this point, probably he should certainly be considering resignation.

"And I don't know an investment person in the country that I've talked with, and I've talked with a lot, who doesn't feel that (Pitt) should resign."

Biggs was favored by the SEC's two Democratic commissioners, and Webster was chosen over their objections.

The New York Times reported last month that the accounting industry had covertly pressured Pitt to drop Biggs.

Asked about this by Moyers, Biggs said: "I think the accounting industry won, let's call it a Pyrrhic victory.

"They won this battle, but the war they should have their eye on is reestablishing their reputation ... I mean, don't they get the message at seeing Arthur Andersen absolutely destroyed by people who did not do the right thing down in Houston?"

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The newspaper, which quoted Republican sources, said that White House officials were exasperated that Pitt's handling of the appointment had created a political crisis for President George W. Bush days before the Nov. 5 midterm elections. SEC officials told the...
SEC,Chief,Said,Losing,White,House,Support
425
2002-00-03
Sunday, 03 November 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved