The SEC tapped the new IG as it enters a period of major transition. Former SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro departed the agency in December, and President Obama has nominated Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney, to fill her position.
The SEC had felt some heat from Capitol Hill over how long it went without its own full-time IG. After Schapiro announced her plans to depart, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said it was "disappointing" she was leaving without getting another IG in place.
"The SEC, like any agency, benefits from a strong, independent inspector general," he said at the time. "The sooner the recent turmoil in the inspector general’s office is overcome, the better for the agency and the investing public.”
Kotz left the SEC IG position following a stint that saw him issue a number of highly critical reports and ruffling feathers at the regulator. He took the regulator to task for failing to sniff out the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernie Madoff, and also blasted it for mishandling the acquisition of office space and for employees viewing pornography at work.
However, Kotz also had two formal complaints filed against him by SEC employees who alleged he bullied witnesses. A separate report also found that he may have had conflicts of interest with people close to his investigations, and may have had an inappropriate relationship with an SEC employee.