May 4, 2006

Beacon Board Members: "He** No, We Won't Go!"

Marc Comtois

Former RI GOP head John Holmes is now also a former Beacon Mutual Board member with his resignation yesterday, but it doesn't look like George Nee or Henry Boeniger plan on passing quietly into the night with him.

The two Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. board members who are fighting to keep their posts despite Governor Carcieri’s demands for their resignations are expected in Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. today.

George H. Nee and Henry R. Boeniger, both Democrats who work for labor unions, are requesting a temporary restraining order against the governor.

Carcieri is seeking to purge the leadership of the state’s dominant workers’ compensation insurer, which has come under fire since the scathing report issued last month by outside consultants revealed that Beacon gave preferential rates to some companies and maintained "inappropriate relationships" with certain insurance agents.

As Nee and Boeniger accuse the Republican governor of discriminating against them because of their union affiliations, a Republican Beacon board member resigned yesterday. John A. Holmes Jr. said in his resignation letter to the governor that he wanted to put an end to accusations by fellow board members of “discrimination for not removing me from the Board because of our political affiliation.”

Governor Carcieri responded:
“While we have not had an opportunity to review the complaint in detail, one thing is clear: This lawsuit has absolutely no merit, and simply represents an audacious and completely self-interested effort by Mr. Nee and Mr. Boeniger to distract from their abject failure to prevent the rampant mismanagement that occurred under their noses at Beacon Mutual.”

“Last week, Governor Carcieri offered both Mr. Nee and Mr. Boeniger a fair opportunity to be heard. Unfortunately, they decided not to avail themselves of this process, choosing to run to the courts instead.”

“Both Mr. Nee and Mr. Boeniger presided over the mismanagement and possible criminal misconduct at Beacon Mutual for over a decade. Both were either complicit in those activities or demonstrated gross incompetence in not preventing it. Under Beacon Mutual’s own by-laws, either case gives the Governor more than sufficient cause to remove them from the Board of Directors.”

“By contesting their removal, Mr. Nee and Mr. Boeniger continue to demonstrate that they hold their own personal interests above the interests of the company, its policyholders and the people of Rhode Island. Governor Carcieri will not allow Mr. Nee and Mr. Boeniger to harm Beacon in an effort to continue collecting their $20,000 yearly stipends.”

“For more than a year, Governor Carcieri has repeatedly warned of mismanagement and misdeeds at Beacon Mutual. Throughout that time, the Governor’s only purpose has been to fight for the best interests of the thousands of businesses and their employees across Rhode Island that depend on Beacon Mutual for workers compensation insurance. The Governor will fight this lawsuit, he will clean up the Beacon Board of Directors, and he will continue working to preserve this important public asset for the people of this state.”

We shouldn't be surprised by the actions of Nee or Boeniger, which says something about Rhode Island politics, doesn't it? This is why Beacon Mutual is a proxy for so much that is wrong with Rhode Island.

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Those are some pretty F&^%@#! high decency standards you've got there, Marc


Posted by: johnb at May 4, 2006 1:52 PM