The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Another top man quits SEC

Washington, Nov. 9: (Reuters): The US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that its chief accountant Robert Herdman resigned, following his boss SEC chairman Harvey Pitt toward the exit door of the market-regulating agency.

“It is with profound regret that I accepted Robert Herdman’s resignation this afternoon,” Pitt said. Pitt resigned on Tuesday, but is still working at the SEC. His departure date has not been determined.

Herdman and Pitt worked closely together on the establishment of a new US accounting oversight board. It was set up under orders from Congress as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reform legislation passed in July responding to a rash of corporate and accounting scandals such as Enron Corp.

Ex-FBI chief William Webster was named the first chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board after a 3-2 party-line SEC vote on October 25.

After the vote, it emerged that Pitt had failed beforehand to tell other SEC commissioners and the White House about information related to Webster’s former work for a company accused of fraud. Herdman was present in a meeting with Pitt and Webster where the former intelligence services chief brought up US Technologies Inc., a small, Washington-based investment company where he was audit committee chairman.

Neither Pitt nor Herdman relayed certain issues that Webster said he had described as a “possible problem” to other SEC commissioners or the White House before the crucial vote.

SEC and Capitol Hill sources had expected Herdmanto quit after Pitt stepped down amid a chorus of calls for his ouster among Democrats in Congress and turmoil within the SEC.

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