Attorney faces backlash over auto rate fight

first_imgCOURTS: Group says state lawyer tried to save insurers $300,000. By Steve Lawrence The Associated Press SACRAMENTO – A consumer group demanded Thursday that the state insurance commissioner fire one of his top attorneys, saying the department lawyer tried to help insurers avoid paying $300,000 in court costs stemming from a fight over auto insurance rates. “The fact is, it is not uncommon for the Department of Insurance to submit statements of fact on particular issues, which is what Bill Gausewitz did in this case,” Kerns said. The dispute involves a lawsuit filed by the insurance industry in 2006. It sought to overturn regulations that limited use of motorists’ ZIP codes in setting their auto insurance rates. Consumers groups favored the regulations, saying rates should be based primarily on driving records and not on where people live. Several groups, including the Santa Monica-based foundation, joined the attorney general in successfully defending the regulations. They then urged a Sacramento County Superior Court judge to order the insurers to repay them for their court costs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said it obtained a series of e-mails showing that William Gausewitz secretly collaborated with insurers to file a declaration in court. It says the document supported the insurers’ claim that court costs should be paid by the state, not them. Gausewitz is a former insurance industry lobbyist who is senior counsel to Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. “The documents obtained by FTCR show that Mr. Gausewitz continues to work closely with, and on behalf of, the insurance industry, albeit in a covert fashion – conduct that is utterly incompatible with your pledge of an independent and open administration,” the foundation said in its letter to Poizner. It was signed by Harvey Rosenfield, the group’s founder, and Doug Heller, its executive director. A spokeswoman for Poizner, Jennifer Kerns, said the foundation’s criticism is unfounded. last_img read more

AMU seeks CBI probe into murder of university student

first_imgAligarh, Sep 20 (PTI) The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has sought a CBI probe into the alleged murder of an undergraduate student in the university campus. The spurt in incidents of violence in and around the campus in the past few days and the suspected involvement of “professional shooters” in Fridays killing has apparently prompted the university authorities into taking this strong measure, a senior AMU official said. In a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav written last night, the AMU Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen (Rtd) Zamiruddin Shah has made a strong plea for a CBI probe. The letter states that such a probe will also act as a deterrent against those forces which are trying to destabilise the campus situation. The VC has also approached the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this connection. “There are forces at play which seek to create a situation which could lead to a sine die closure of the institution. Friday killing of a student appears to be the handiwork of professional assassins and we want to get to the root of the matter,” the VC told reporters. He said the university will intensify security measures including strict vigilance in all hostels. PTI CORR AVA ISHlast_img read more