FDIC watchdog being eyed for SEC post
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Inspector General Jon Rymer is in discussions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about temporarily leading its embattled watchdog office while the agency looks for someone to fill the job full time, according to two people familiar with the talks.
The SEC has been without a full time inspector general since David Kotz left the post in January. The office has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks over allegations of inappropriate conduct by employees.
David Weber, who joined the SEC a few months ago as the new assistant inspector general for investigations, was placed on leave last week after he talked openly about wanting to carry a concealed firearm at work and some employees complained he was a physical threat, according to people familiar with the matter.
Earlier this year, Weber complained to SEC commissioners about alleged misconduct in the inspector general's office, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Chris Mead, Weber's lawyer, said his client's suspension was retribution for the allegations he raised.
"The timing doesn't make any sense because he was not considered threatening until people had a motive for retaliating against him," Mead told Reuters last week. "A chronology of events will reveal that any allegations against my client are not only false, but are unlawful retaliation against an employee who did the right thing."
On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley announced he is seeking more information from the SEC about the decision to place Weber on administrative leave.
Rymer has been with the FDIC since 2006 and had previously worked at the accounting firm of KPMG LLP.
SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the whether the agency is in discussions with Rymer.
The discussions between the SEC and Rymer were first reported by Bloomberg.
(Reporting by Dave Clarke and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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