U.S. securities regulator’s watchdog to retire in early May – Metro US

U.S. securities regulator’s watchdog to retire in early May

FILE PHOTO: Handout photo of Carl Hoecker
FILE PHOTO: Handout photo of Carl Hoecker

By Chris Prentice and Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s inspector general will retire in just over a week after leading the agency’s watchdog office for nine years, the SEC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Carl Hoecker’s retirement follows more than four decades in the federal government and comes months after Reuters reported he had been the subject of a years-long government investigation that sustained allegations of “serious misconduct” against him.

The SEC, which made no mention of Reuters reporting or the investigation in its statement, suspended Hoecker without pay for seven days in 2020 under its previous Republican leadership.

The government investigation was led from 2017 to 2019 by a federal panel that examines allegations of wrongdoing against inspectors general, after two whistleblowers alleged that he conducted a substandard investigation. Inspectors general are government watchdogs who guard against the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Before joining the SEC, Hoecker served in similar roles for the U.S. Capitol Police and the Treasury Department. He started his career with the Army. SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a statement thanked Hoecker for “his long dedication to public service.”

Hoecker said he was grateful for the “the opportunity to work with such talented and dedicated public servants.” He did not respond immediately to a request for comment beyond the SEC’s statement.

In an email to staff Hoecker sent two days after Reuters first reported the details and outcome of the probe, he said: “I hope you still have confidence in me as your IG. I have been here for almost 9 years, and I hope to remain here well into [the] future.”

SEC Deputy Inspector General for Audits, Evaluations, and Special Projects Rebecca Sharek will take over as acting inspector general, the agency said in its statement on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Chris PrenticeEditing by Bill Berkrot)