he list of potential nominees to replace Harvey Pitt at the SEC is getting shorter by the day. The problems in finding a nominee are potentially slowing the search process, reports the Washington Post. Further complicating matters is that the Bush administration's reported current top candidate, Treasury Undersecretary Peter R. Fisher, does not want the post.
The search process is being led by White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and Clay S. Johnson III, assistant to the president for presidential personnel, according to the paper. If the search runs into next year, the paper adds that current Commissioner Paul S. Atkins, a Republican, is the likely choice to take the post of acting chairman.
Unlike the Pitt search, in which Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) pushed for Pitt over James R. Doty, Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Alabama) will not be using his Senate Banking Committee chairmanship to influence the process. He has already told the White House he "doesn't want to play a role" in the selection process. Still, Doty may fair no better this time around because of the fact that he was a board member of Harken Energy when President Bush sold his stake in the company.
Rudy Giuliani, initially a rumored favorite for the post removed himself from the running nearly at the start of the search when he told attendees of the SIA conference that he was not interested in leaving the private sector. He is now a potential candidate to take the chairman post at Worldcom, according to news reports.
Two other candidates -- Frank G. Zarb and Joseph A. Grundfest -- told the administration that they also have no interest in the post. Both are reportedly worried about perceived conflicts of interests.
Last week the New York Times
also reported that Michael Chertoff's name was pulled from consideration after he attended a lunch at the White House to discuss his candidacy.
Stay ahead of the news ... Sign up for our email alerts now