ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaking for the first time about the allegations and federal charges surrounding the states newly elected insurance commissioner, Jim Beck.
The governor sat down with FOX 5’s Elizabeth Rawlins in a one-on-one interview after announcing Doraville Police Chief John King will replace Beck.
Beck, who took office in January, was indicted last month on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.
Investigators said he allegedly stole more than $2 million when he worked for a state insurance provider.
“The facts laid out in the indictment just led me to realize that Mr. Beck could not keep the integrity of the office if he continued to serve in that role,” said Gov. Kemp. “Which is why I asked for his resignation.”
Investigators said the so-called “fraud scheme” took place in the five years prior to Beck taking office in January.
“Are there any concerns about potentially suspicious activity in [insurance commission] office?” Rawlins asked Gov. Kemp.
“I don’t know of anything that’s happened over there,” replied Gov. Kemp. “I know there are some very capable people over there and a lot of them have been over there a long time. I’m sure they are doing their jobs like they always have.”
Regardless, the office will now be under the direction of new leadership and Governor Kemp believes Chief John King is just the man for the job.
“What’s your message to Georgians? How do they know they can trust Mr. King?” asked Rawlins.
“Well I think that’s the thing that concerned me,” said Kemp. “It’s up to me. I have to make this appointment and I wanted to get a person of high integrity, above everything else. Plus, someone that can run an agency.”
The governor said he chose King, not only because of his background but also the experience needed to take on this type of leadership position.
“When he became the Doraville Chief, he had a similar circumstance where he had to clean some things up,” said Gov. Kemp.
“And he got in there and put his nose to the grind and figured out what was going on and was very thoughtful about that process.”
“Is there anything out there that you think needs to change about the election process?” Asked Rawlins.
“I think it’s just part of the process, replied Gov. Kemp. “People elected [Beck] him to serve. The appointed U. S. attorney, that was appointed by an elected president, decided to indict him. That’s the checks and balances, it’s not always good.”