Insurance commissioner Kreidler should resign [The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.] – InsuranceNewsNet

June 21 – Following revelations of the bureau’s disparaging conduct, it’s hard to imagine the state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler effectively discharging its duties in the service of the people of Washington. For the sake of his office and the state, Kreidler should resign from his post.

The Colombian is not the first to demand Kreidler’s resignation. On Friday, the governor Jay Inslee released a statement that read in part: “Commissioner Kreidler assured his employees and the public that he would work to improve his relationship with staff, but instead fired an employee who spoke about these issues. All staff deserve respect regardless of their will Therefore I think we need different leadership in this position and I think he should step down.

A statement from the state Democratic Party said: “We have been deeply disappointed and disturbed by the first set of complaints against Mike Kreidler earlier this year, and had hoped that his apology and training efforts were sincere and gave him the opportunity to reform his actions and behaviors. But it’s now quite clear: he didn’t learn anything.”

Notably, Kreidler is a Democrat. He is in his sixth term in that position, which is elected statewide, and in 2020 he won re-election with 65% of the vote. But party affiliation or the prior will of voters has little to do with an elected official’s ability to perform their duties effectively. How a state executive manages their office has an impact on how that office serves the people of Washington.

Over the past several months, numerous prospective and former employees have disclosed instances in which Kreidler was demeaning or rude, racially focused, or used derogatory terms for minority populations. In February, Jon Noskithe agency’s director of legislative affairs, filed a formal complaint alleging that Kreidler intimidated him.

Last week, Noski was fired after returning from sick leave. This move directly led to calls for Kreidler’s resignation.

In response to those calls, Kreidler said, “I cannot comment on the specifics of an individual personal matter, but the finding that the departure of an important and valued employee is due to him filing a complaint against me is not true and does not reflect the full context of the story.”

Kreidler’s performance has come under intense public scrutiny over the past year. It unilaterally decided to ban the use of credit scores to determine insurance policy premiums, after the proposal was rejected by lawmakers.

The question of whether or not he has the power to implement such a policy should remain separate from the question of whether he should remain in office. Like party affiliation, political decisions are different from broader doubts about whether Kreidler can do his job effectively.

“I’m committed to doing better and to living up to that commitment,” he said on Friday. “At the same time, I intend to continue to serve alongside the dedicated people of our agency and work on important consumer protection issues ahead.”

That seems unlikely in the wake of the latest controversy. While we don’t know the full story surrounding Noski’s departure from the department, we do know that there is a toxic atmosphere that has led to many complaints and that Kreidler’s management is detrimental to the residents of Washington.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner touches every resident of our state, regulating health insurance, auto insurance, home insurance, and renter’s insurance. The public deserves someone who can manage it with the utmost integrity and efficiency.


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