Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00

Insurance Legislation President Resigns in Plea Deal with Prosecutors, Lawyer Says “Just a Slip”

Greg Wren, president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), was automatically deposed when he resigned as a member of the Alabama House as part of a plea deal with state prosecutors. Wren, R-Montgomery, resigned his legislative seat April 1, 2014, the same day he agreed to plead guilty in state court in Montgomery to a misdemeanor charge of using his office for personal gain. He agreed to pay $24,000 restitution, within 90 days, and to cooperate in a continuing investigation of corruption.

 

According to charging documents, Wren’s problems stemmed from a state probe into his attempts to add language to the state General Fund budget late last year that would have effectively made a pharmacy cooperative the sole supplier of drugs for Medicaid patients in Alabama. Wren’s lawyer, James Anderson, said Greg did no business with the Alabama Co-op.

Wren's amendment was stripped out in a conference committee after state Medicaid officials raised concerns, according to media reports.

Wren’s lawyer said that Wren got into trouble as part of his effort to find work because he planned to retire from the state legislature after this year. Wren announced in late January 2014, that he wasn’t running for re-election, before he appeared before a grand jury. Anderson said he did so after his district was revised through a remapping.

Anderson, his lawyer, said Wren pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and, “We see no reason he won’t go back to the insurance business. This was just a slip on his part,” Anderson said.

Media sources in Alabama said the probe also involves other leaders of the state legislature, including Mike Hubbard, Speaker of the Alabama House. Hubbard issued a statement after Wren’s guilty plea professing innocence.

NCOIL works closely in providing the views of state legislators to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and independently develops guidance and model laws state legislators can use in writing laws dealing with insurance oversight. NCOIL also seeks a leading role in ensuring that the states have a strong voice in international insurance issues and are not co-opted on such issues as international trade and solvency standards by the new Federal Insurance Office.

Wren was automatically succeeded by New York State Senator Neil Breslin, 72.

Read 725 times