With the SEC knee-deep in investigations and proposed rule changes, Chairman Harvey Pitt needed additional ammunition to handle the workload. So President Bush helped out by filling two of the four empty SEC commissioner seats with nominees Isaac Hunt Jr. and Cynthia Glassman, the White House and the SEC announced today.
With the SEC “at a crossroads," according to Pitt, the additions of Glassman and Hunt will be beneficial to his staff and the workload that it has ahead of it.
The SEC is currently in the midst of a massive IPO scandal investigation involving 50 Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney, UBS PaineWebber and Prudential Securities.
"We felt it was very important to give Harvey Pitt the resources to help with the vital issues that are likely to come before the agency very soon,” a White House spokesperson said.
Bush tapped Glassman to fill the position left vacant by Laura Ungar, who left the SEC to pursue a career in the private sector in late 2001. Glassman currently serves as a principal for Ernst & Young's National Tax Department division. Hunt recently completed a term as commissioner at the agency. He was nominated to the position by President Clinton in 1995.
The SEC has five commissioners who are appointed by the president and must be approved by the U.S. Senate. President Bush flexed his power to appoint the two nominees directly to positions while Congress is adjourned, the White House said.
SEC commissioners serve five-year terms that are staggered so that one commissioner's term ends on June 5 each year.