DFR Commissioner Mike Pieciak discusses New England health data related to COVID-19 in May 2020. Screenshot.

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced today that Commissioner Mike Pieciak will leave his role as head of Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) next month to pursue other opportunities. Pieciak, along with Health Commissioner Mark Levine and former Human Services Secretary Mike Smith, were a familiar face at the Governor’s pandemic response press conferences beginning in March 2020. Pieciak provided modeling data related to the recent rise and decline of COVID-19.

Commissioner Pieciak was appointed to head the Consumer Watch Agency by Governor Scott in January 2017. He joined DFR in 2014 as Deputy Commissioner of the Securities Division, appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin .

“Mike has been a valued member of my firm. He has been a very effective manager, a strong advocate for consumers and the economic revitalization of our state, and he has joined my COVID response leadership team,” Governor Scott said. “Throughout his career in state government, he has been a dedicated servant of the people of Vermont. I wish him every success in his future endeavours. »

“It has been an honor to work alongside the talented team at DFR and the Governor’s Cabinet over the past eight years,” said Commissioner Pieciak. “I’m proud of what we’ve done to ensure Vermonters are treated fairly in their financial transactions and, if necessary, right wrongs on behalf of consumers. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to serve Vermont.

During his eight years of service to the state of Vermont, Commissioner Pieciak has advocated on behalf of consumers and worked to strengthen the state’s financial services sector. Under his leadership, DFR recovered more than $13 million for the people of Vermont, including a record $1.8 million settlement with a South Carolina insurance company for selling health insurance policies unapproved and inappropriate for Vermont students.

Pieciak also expanded the Department’s oversight of online securities and cryptocurrency trading platforms during his tenure. Earlier this year, a DFR investigation into digital asset firm BlockFi led to a $100 million multi-state settlement.

With the onset of the pandemic, Governor Scott asked Commissioner Pieciak and the DFR to lead the state’s COVID-19 modeling and he appeared regularly at COVID press briefings. The DFR also demanded that health insurers cover the cost of testing and treating COVID-19 and returned more than $25 million in premium relief to Vermonters.

Additionally, Pieciak led a volunteer team of 20 DFR employees that administered $32 million in COVID hazard pay grants to 20,000 Vermont frontline workers. The program was created and administered in just over 10 weeks in the first year of the pandemic.

In 2019, the DFR explicitly prohibited insurers from using age to deny gender-affirming care to Vermont youth. Pieciak has also implemented a series of initiatives to combat financial abuse of the elderly, including tougher penalties and the creation of a victim restitution fund with increased rewards for vulnerable Vermonters who have been targeted. by investment scammers.

In addition to his duties at DFR, Pieciak was elected in 2018 as president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection, and served a five-year term with the US Securities and Exchange Commission Small Business Capital Formation Advisory. Committee in Washington, D.C.

Deputy Commissioner Kevin Gaffney will assume the role of Acting Commissioner following the departure of Commissioner Pieciak on May 16.

Source: Governor. 27.04.2022. Montpelier. www.vermont.gov