The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 September 2004

Fisher takes a powder

It won't affect the criminal case against him, but Carroll Fisher, by resigning his position as Insurance Commissioner, will avoid having to go through the impeachment trial and becoming a larger footnote in Oklahoma history.

What is interesting here, at least to me, is that Fisher seems to be convinced that he'd get a fairer trial in the criminal court than he would in the Oklahoma legislature: "I will have a fair and level playing field, which I didn't feel I had in the impeachment process. It was too political."

Governor Henry, accepting Fisher's resignation:

I appreciate the fact that Carroll Fisher did the right thing and resigned prior to a potentially damaging and embarrassing impeachment trial.

We will proceed without regard to party affiliation to try to find the best person to fill this position. By that, I mean someone who obviously fits the statutory qualifications ... but also who has unquestioned honesty and integrity and the ability to come in and ensure that office functions in an appropriate and efficient manner.

Finding someone to fit the statutory qualifications, anyway, shouldn't be difficult.

Posted at 9:24 AM to Soonerland

The good thing about Fisher's resignation is that if he had been able to hang on to his office until the end of January, he'd have qualified for retirement benefits. When the delay tactics to slow down the impeachment didn't work, it was clear he was not going to be able to make it to the end of January. At that point, why not resign? It gets the heat off of himself from those who wanted him to quit, and now he can focus solely on beating the rap in the courts. I am of the opinion that by giving Carson an easy win in the Democratic Senate primary, and thus allowing Carson to more actively campaign and fundraise without threatening in any way to actually beat Carson, Fisher may have been hoping to be appreciated enough to be allowed to hang around for lifetime retirement benefits.

Posted by: Chris at 5:10 PM on 25 September 2004

Certainly Fisher had nothing to gain by holding out any longer.

I am reminded of the fall of Gene Stipe, who basically disappeared after his conviction — except to petition the State to restore his pension to its original level. Prying retirement benefits out of the State is apparently a major concern. (And The Prop at Coffeegrounds has written that it's a big deal in New Jersey also.)

Posted by: CGHill at 5:20 AM on 26 September 2004