Appeal from the Order of the Insurance Commissioner, in the case of In Re: Robert L. Redcay, No. P86-6-12.
Gary S. Auerbach, Law Offices of Roy D. Shirk, for petitioner.
James A. M. Zarrella, Assistant Counsel, with him, Terrance J. Fitzpatrick, Chief of Litigation, Linda J. Wells, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Colins and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 425]
Robert L. Redcay (petitioner) appeals an order of the Insurance Commissioner (Commissioner) revoking his license to act as an insurance agent and imposing a cumulative penalty of $7,000.00 in accordance with
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 426]
Section 639 of The Insurance Department Act of 1921*fn1 and Section 1 of the Act of June 22, 1931, P.L. 622, as amended, 40 P.S. § 483, which provisions, respectively, afford the Commissioner discretion in imposing sanctions upon any agent who engages in conduct which would disqualify such agent from the initial issuance of a license and upon any applicant who misrepresents his qualifications to the Insurance Department (Department).
In 1983, the petitioner pled guilty to the federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Over the next two years, petitioner submitted six applications for resident insurance agent licenses with the Department. On each application, filed in writing and under oath, petitioner responded in the negative to the following inquiry: "Have you ever been convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere to a crime or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation or are you now under indictment?"
Upon consideration of the above conduct on petitioner's part, the Commissioner issued a show cause order and a hearing was held, following which the Commissioner found as fact that petitioner's criminal conviction and knowing provision of erroneous information on the six license applications reflected adversely on his professional competence and integrity, such that he was unworthy to be licensed as an insurance agent. Revoking all licenses held by petitioner,*fn2 the Commissioner imposed the maximum allowable monetary penalties as follows: (1) an amount of $1,000.00, pertaining to his criminal conviction, and (2) $1,000.00 for each of his six
[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 427]
acts of falsification of information in his licensure applications.
Petitioner now argues that the sanctions ordered by the Commissioner were excessively severe, such that they amounted to an abuse of discretion on the Commissioner's part. We cannot agree with this contention. The Commissioner is "obligat[ed] to protect the insurance-buying public from unscrupulous agents," Romano v. Sheppard, 45 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 19, 21, 404 A.2d 758, 759 (1979), and, as noted, is statutorily afforded discretion in determining sanctions commensurate with the subject misconduct. We see no reason to disturb the Commissioner's exercise of such discretion in the instant matter.*fn3 Surely the revocation of petitioner's license and the imposition of a ...