Public Citizen Welcomes Forthcoming Appointment of Former Prosecutor Mary Jo White to Chair Securities and Exchange Commission

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Public Citizen Welcomes Forthcoming Appointment of Former Prosecutor Mary Jo White to Chair Securities and Exchange Commission

White Should Move Quickly Toward Adopting New Rules to Protect Main Street

WASHINGTON - The expected appointment of former prosecutor Mary Jo White to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could be a sign that the second Obama administration plans to get stronger on financial crime, Public Citizen said today.

For almost 10 years, White was the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, building a reputation as a tough prosecutor with expertise in complex securities and financial fraud cases.

“Failure to hold any significant Wall Street figure accountable for the most massive economic crimes in history demands remedy,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial reform advocate for Public Citizen. “We hope that White’s record as a white-collar crime fighter will lead to strong SEC enforcement under her tenure.”

In addition, the SEC recently put on its agenda a proposal for a new rule that would require public companies to disclose political expenditures. Public Citizen led a petition drive to get the rule considered, garnering more than 320,000 signatures for the petition which was filed by a group of bipartisan academics. The number of public comments is an SEC record.

“White can demonstrate her allegiance to investors and the American public by advancing the political disclosure rule for public companies that is now under consideration,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

“She also can prove her commitment by acting on the many stalled Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act rules,” added Naylor. “We look to the new chair to protect investors and move these rules forward to protect average investors and Main Street.”

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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