William White was fired from his job as D.C.'s insurance commissioner one day after he questioned the president's proposed healthcare fix, NBC News has confirmed.
The D.C. city government has named Chester A. McPherson (White's former deputy) as the new acting insurance commissioner.
White told NBC News that on Thursday he released a statement reacting to the president's announcement which read in part: "The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate."
White said on Friday, one of the mayor's top deputies called White into his office and told him he was being let go. "The only thing I was told was that the mayor wanted to go in a different direction and my services were no longer needed,” White said in a telephone interview. "I was asked to leave on Friday and I did."
When asked if he thought his firing was directly linked to his statement on healthcare, White replied, "Anyone who looks at this can draw their own conclusions. My statement came out on Thursday and by Friday [at] 4:15, I was out."
As for his reaction, White said: “I was disappointed. I really liked my job with this department and as far as I'm concerned it's one of the best departments in the District of Columbia. We did an excellent job and those are excellent people. They were a great team and I felt privileged to work with them and to work for Mayor Gray.”
“I’m disappointed that I won't be able to complete all of what I was trying to do. I understand the mayor has every right to change his mind and I respect that. From that standpoint I have nothing but good things to say about the district and department and I wish everybody well. Chester will do a great job. "
So far the mayor's office has not responded to NBC's request for comment but the Insurance Commissioner's Office released this statement confirming McPherson's new role:
Deputy Mayor Hoskins Appoints Chester A. McPherson as Acting Commissioner of Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking McPherson Served as Deputy Commissioner of Market Operations
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins today announced the appointment of Chester A. McPherson as acting Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB). McPherson has served as the Deputy Commissioner of Market Operations for DISB since August 2011. He begins his new role effective immediately.
"Chester McPherson's extensive management and leadership background make him an ideal candidate to lead the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking," said Deputy Mayor Hoskins. "His work in both the public and private sectors as a financial-services professional and as a federal and state regulator of the securities markets will be instrumental as the agency continues to move forward with its mission and goals."
As Deputy Commissioner of Market Operations, McPherson develops strategic plans and implements policies and programs that uphold District laws, enhance consumer protection and ensure efficient and effective financial services regulation in the District of Columbia. Before joining DISB in 2011, McPherson served as a legislative counsel with the Council of the District of Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Baruch College at The City University of New York and a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center. McPherson is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland. A resident of the District for 21 years, he currently resides in Ward 5.