Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried today sent a letter to her fellow Florida Cabinet colleagues calling for the appointment of an Interim Commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.
While the process of appointing an OFR Commissioner continues, Fried reiterated her August request to appoint an OFR veteran on an interim basis to oversee the Office’s 357 employees and manage over 110,000 licensees, over 345,000 securities entities, and over 200 average active investigations.
186 days have now passed since the Florida Office of Financial Regulation has been without leadership appointed by and accountable to us, the members of the Florida Cabinet.
At our last meeting on October 22, in which three candidates for Commissioner were interviewed without selection, the Governor stated that a telephone conference would be convened “in the pretty near future” in order to “make a decision quickly” regarding appointment of an OFR Commissioner. To date, that call has not been scheduled or conducted.
As I have previously noted, the Chief Financial Officer on July 25 called for the appointment of an Interim Commissioner at the next Cabinet meeting. I had met with OFR’s Chief of Staff and General Counsel, and my senior staff had interviewed several qualified candidates for Interim Commissioner.
On August 19, I proposed that Greg Oaks, OFR’s Director of Consumer Finance and a trusted veteran of the agency for 26 years, be placed into consideration for Interim Commissioner.
Given the continued delay in appointing a Commissioner, I am calling today for Mr. Oaks to be appointed as Interim Commissioner at the next meeting of the Florida Cabinet on December 3, 2019.
As I have said before, neither Floridians nor OFR’s hardworking employees should be made to wait further for this appointment, the leadership of which is necessary to protect consumers and ensure a safe financial marketplace for those living and doing business in Florida.
I look forward to your response.