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Former U.S. SEC employee cites discrimination, failed market oversight -lawsuit

Katanga Johnson


WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) - A former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) employee has filed a lawsuit against the regulator citing agency failures in market oversight and wrongful termination on the grounds of "age, religion and gender" discrimination.

The suit filed in the district court of D.C. threatens to expose shortcomings at the country's top financial markets regulator with respect to its treatment of employees and other staffing and resourcing problems.

The lawsuit claims that the regulator targeted senior accountant Kimberly Earle, 56, for removal from her role in the Division of Economics and Risk Analysis between November 2017 and September 2018 to create a vacancy for new management and because she was an "older, female, Jewish employee."

In May 2018, Earle published and circulated to SEC officials an internal report of the agency's shortfalls in implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, seen at the time by Reuters. It cited that former SEC chairmen used various strategies to "prevent and block investigations into the roles and culpability of Wall Street banking executives in causing or contributing to the financial collapse."

Earle was terminated from her role in September 2018 after 28 years at the SEC.

At the time, Earle told Reuters that insufficient resources and technology challenges had hampered the regulator's ability to deliver much of the analysis over the nation's top rating agencies, among other challenges.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Katanga Johnson Editing by Susan Thomas)