The SEC’s Inspector General Will Retire Next Month
A government watchdog group previously recommended consideration of his removal for misconduct.
The Securities and Exchange Commission watchdog announced on Wednesday he will retire next month.
Inspector General Carl Hoecker will retire as of May 7 after leading the office since February 2013. Prior to serving as the SEC’s watchdog, Hoecker was the first IG for the Capitol Police. He has also worked in the Treasury IG’s office and served in the U.S Army. Rebecca Sharek, deputy IG for audits, evaluations and special projects, will serve as acting IG.
“I am grateful to the commission for the opportunity to work with such talented and dedicated public servants,” said Hoecker in a press release. “I especially want to thank the staff in the Office of Inspector General for their dedication to overseeing and protecting the SEC’s programs and operations. I am also proud of our 92% employee global satisfaction rating for 2021 and our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.”
SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Sharek praised Hoecker in the press release and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce did so in a tweet. “Hoecker has led a team of auditors, investigators, and administrative staff to execute [the Office of Inspector General’s] mission to promote the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the SEC's programs and operations,” said the press release.
The statements did not mention a Reuters report from December that the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s Integrity Committee recommended Hoecker’s firing in 2019 for “serious misconduct.” The commissioners instead voted to suspend him without pay for seven days in 2020, Reuters reported in February.
According to a summary of the report, published by the Project On Government Oversight, which also reported on the matter in December, Hoecker “initiated and oversaw an internal investigation that was lacking in objectivity;” “improperly confronted and questioned a subordinate witness;” and “exhibited a lack of candor.” POGO called for Hoecker’s removal in January.
Hoecker didn’t respond to Reuters or POGO in December for comment, but “Hoecker disputed the Integrity Committee's allegations in a March 2019 rebuttal to its initial findings, saying he undertook the probe ‘in good faith’ and conducted an ‘objective and thorough’ investigation,” said Reuters’ report.
Government Executive asked the SEC IG office if Hoecker’s retirement had anything to do with the report.
“When Carl Hoecker began his tenure at the SEC Office of Inspector General, the office was not operating in the most effective and efficient manner,” Raphael Kozolchyk, spokesperson for the SEC IG office, told Government Executive on Thursday. “In the nine years since, Carl and his management team raised the office’s employee engagement scores to some of the highest achieved within the SEC and governmentwide.”
Kozolchyk added that “through focused audits and time sensitive investigations, Carl established a culture of high credibility with the commission and Congress. Accordingly Carl felt that after a long and successful career, and with the SEC [office of inspector general] performing at a high level, it was a good time to start the next chapter in his professional life.”
Government Executive also reached out to Hoecker via LinkedIn to ask if the retirement had anything to do with the report, but he did not immediately respond for comment.
This article was updated with comment from the SEC inspector general office at 10:30 a.m. on April 28.