The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new enforcement chief abruptly resigned Wednesday, citing a complication in a case from her prior legal career, an early and significant setback in Chairman
“A development arose this week in one of the cases on which I worked while still in private law practice,” Oh, the first Asian American woman to head the enforcement division, said in an emailed resignation to Gensler that was reviewed by Bloomberg. “I have reached the conclusion that I cannot address this development without it becoming an unwelcome distraction.”
Before joining the SEC, Oh was a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where her corporate clients included
Her conduct during the litigation was called into question this week by the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the case. On April 26, Judge
The enforcement chief is one of the most distinguished jobs at the SEC, with the director leading a group of 1,300 officials who investigate violations of securities laws and sanction individuals and firms for misconduct. Former heads of the division have gone on to be the top lawyers at global banking giants, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank AG.
While Oh’s departure represents a headache for Gensler, left-leaning advocacy groups seized on it to push him to appoint someone with fewer ties to firms the SEC regulates. The practice of the agency hiring corporate defense attorneys has long been a sticking point with progressive lawmakers including
“The SEC has failed the American people by repeatedly selecting Wall Street defense lawyers as directors of enforcement,”
(Updates with reason for resignation in lead.)
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