Legislator Calls for Calif. Earthquake Fund Freeze

May 3, 2000

A California legislator is calling for a freeze on the remaining funds in an earthquake foundation established by California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.

Assemblyman Jack Scott announced his intent to introduce such a bill Tuesday, just days after a hearing in which Quackenbush was grilled by lawmakers over deals he made with insurers in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The deals helped save several insurance companies more than $3.3 billion in fines recommended by the CDI legal team. Scott, who heads the assembly committee investigating Quackenbush, told reporters the legislation he proposes would be a way for the assembly to ensure this type of situation never happens again.

He must first convene with assembly attorneys to determine if the assembly has the authority to freeze the foundation’s assets. Quackenbush came under fire last month when it was revealed none of the foundation’s funds – some $6 million – has gone to victims of the Northridge earthquake.

Scott’s proposal would direct those monies into a special fund used specifically for victims of unfair claims.

Meanwhile, to ensure Quackenbush is available to discuss legislative concerns, Senate leader John Burton gave the commissioner until today to agree to a date to appear before a Senate committee to explain his foundation funds and the deals he cut with the insurers.

Should Quackenbush fail to meet the deadline, Burton has threatened to subpoena him. Quackenbush denies any wrongdoing in the matter.

Topics California Catastrophe Natural Disasters Earthquake

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