House committee holds hearing on allegations against Biden's FDIC chairman

 June 13, 2024

In a humiliating move for President Joe Biden , a Capitol Hill hearing was on Wednesday after a major appointee announced his resignation. 

According to The Hill, members of the House Financial Services Committee looked into allegations against Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg and other senior figures.

Gruenberg will remain until replacement is confirmed

The Hill reported late last month that Gruenberg announced he would step down after an investigation uncovered allegations of inappropriate conduct against him and other high-ranking FDIC officials.

"In light of recent events, I am prepared to step down from my responsibilities once a successor is confirmed," Gruenberg said in a statement.

"Until that time, I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities as Chairman of the FDIC, including the transformation of the FDIC’s workplace culture," the departing chairman went on to say.

Investigation found evidence of a toxic work environment

Conducted by a private law firm, the investigation noted how "[w]omen in one field office recounted how, to their dismay, it became routine to hear their supervisor talk about their breasts and legs and his sex life."

In another instance, "A woman examiner reported on the shock of receiving a picture of an FDIC senior examiner's private parts out of the blue while serving on detail in a field office, only to be told later by others in that field office that she should stay away from him because he had a 'reputation.'"

North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry serves as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and on Wednesday he slammed Gruenberg for not leaving immediately.

"Resigning after the confirmation of a new chair is just more of the status quo," McHenry complained. "Chair Gruenberg knows this, which is why he has told employees to continue as if he will be there until the end of the year. That is outrageous."

“This is part and parcel of Mr. Gruenberg's failure to accept responsibility for his actions. His approach to a long-overdue cultural overhaul of the FDIC seems to be deny, deflect, delay," the conservative lawmaker insisted.

White House names replacement for Gruenberg

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Thursday that the president will nominate Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) member Christy Goldsmith Romero to replace Gruenberg.

"Christy Goldsmith Romero has more than 20 years of experience as a career federal attorney and leader in financial regulation, serving under four Presidents," a White House press release read.

"She has served as a Commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) since March 2022, after President Biden’s nomination and the Senate’s unanimous confirmation," it continued.

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