SEC Democratic Commissioner Jackson to step down next month

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Rob Jackson responds to questions during an interview with Reuters in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Stelios Varias/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rob Jackson, a Democratic Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said on Thursday he will step down on Feb. 14 to continue teaching at New York University School of Law, where he is currently on faculty leave.

The departure of Jackson, an independent who was picked by Democrats to fill an open Democratic seat in January 2018, will leave Allison Lee as the lone Democratic commissioner at the Republican-led agency that has been pursuing an ambitious agenda to overhaul decades-old securities rules.

Jackson’s term expired in June, but commissioners can continue to serve for 18 months after their term expires and before their replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

Reuters reported last month that the White House is expected to nominate Caroline Crenshaw, an attorney in Jackson’s office, to fill his seat, although the timeline for her nomination is not clear.

The SEC is led by a bipartisan commission that includes a chair, two Democrats and two Republicans. While the White House nominates commissioners, they must be confirmed by the Senate, a process that can take months.

“I will always be proud to have served alongside my fellow Commissioners, Chairman (Jay) Clayton, and especially the commission’s staff, who dedicate their careers to protecting ordinary investors and give hardworking American families the chance to build a better future,” Jackson said in a statement.

During his term, Jackson regularly clashed with his Republican colleagues, voting against more than a dozen agency measures that he said could potentially hurt investors or increase risk. The included changes to the agency’s whistleblower program and a new conflict-of-interest rule for brokers adopted in 2019.

In his remaining time at the agency, Jackson can still preside over rule proposals and enforcement actions brought before him.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Michelle Price and Bill Berkrot

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