UPDATE: Another insurance bruise for Hutchinson administration | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 5, 2015

UPDATE: Another insurance bruise for Hutchinson administration

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 9:12 AM

click to enlarge CARLTON SAFFA - SOIREE
  • Soiree
  • CARLTON SAFFA
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Brian Fanney dug into the file today in reporting an Insurance Department reprimand of Carlton Saffa, an aide to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, for inappropriate sales tactics when an agent for Washington National Insurance Company.

An investigator believed customers had been misled into reinvesting proceeds from paid-up policies into higher-cost new policies. The investigation covered 15 complaints. 

Saffa ended his working relationship with the insurance company shortly after taking a $90,000-a-year job with the governor in January. He surrendered his license in April, when the investigation was underway.

The letter of reprimand was issued Oct. 16 and posted on the Insurance Department website. It was widely circulated to Little Rock media this week, including by a short-lived Twitter account using "John Dean" as a pseudonym.

Saffa worked on insurance matters for the governor. He has declined comment and so has the governor's office, beyond confirming that his work has included insurance matters. I have asked if his duties will change in light of this report.

UPDATE: I received this response from J.R. Davis in the governor's office:

 "This was a matter that we reviewed internally and was prior to him becoming an employee in my office. I believe he has handled it responsibly with the Arkansas Insurance Department. Additionally, I have made the decision to make a change in his policy portfolio to different issues other than insurance."

It is not the first piece of unflattering insurance news related to the Hutchinson era.

Mike Pickens, a former insurance commissioner (and Republican), has been raising complaints about Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr in the course of defending a client facing regulatory action from the department. Kerr was a sitting legislator when an insurance company terminated him for cause as an agent (in Saffa's case, his company said he was in good standing). Kerr was accused of understating risks on policies he wrote. This was well-known when Hutchinson gave him the commissioner's job. The governor has expressed confidence in Kerr.

Early in Kerr's tenure, his department was cited by the federal government, and agreed to repay $1 million, because it had spent federal money on department operations that was intended only for the health insurance marketplace program.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation