The Los Angeles Times reported today that a senior lawyer for the state Department of Insurance has identified herself as the key whistle blower who leaked confidential documents to the Legislature.
Cindy Ossias, 49, who works in the department’s San Francisco office, told California Highway Patrol investigators that she provided committees in the Assembly and the Senate this spring with copies of an internal review of insurers’ claims-handling practices after the Northridge earthquake, sources told the Times.
Ossias said she came forward with the information because she could no longer remain silent about what she viewed as egregious wrongdoing under Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.
Reaction from Quackenbush was swift according to the Times report.
Ossias, who joined the department 10 years ago during a Republican administration, was immediately placed on five days’ paid administrative leave.
A spokesman for Quackenbush told the Times the department is considering other “appropriate action, including dismissal.”
Also, Ossias has been subpoenaed to testify before the Assembly Insurance Committee on Monday according to the report. Ossias apparently leaked copies of market conduct examinations of the four earthquake insurers allowed to contribute to an earthquake fund rather than pay department-imposed penalties for mishandling claims.
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