North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph Smith, Jr. has been appointed to oversee the $25 billion mortgage settlement we've all read so much about, and has resigned his position with the OCOB effective Thursday (tomorrow). We are grateful to Joe for the outstanding work he has done on behalf of the people of North Carolina over the past decade and wish him the best. On a personal note, I want to publicly express my thanks to Joe for the nice things he's said to, and about, me in my short career in banking law.
Chief Deputy Commissioner Ray Grace, who joined the OCOB in 1974, will serve as Acting Commissioner in the near term. By law, Governor Purdue must submit the name of a permanent successor to the General Assembly within four weeks for confirmation. In an election year with a besieged Democratic Governor and a Republican legislature, the process could become politicized.
As far as I know, no other names have been publicly mentioned at this point.