Former AG Curran to Join Maryland’s Workers’ Comp Fund

June 18, 2007

Former Maryland attorney general Joseph Curran has accepted an executive position with the Injured Workers Insurance Fund, a quasi-public agency that provides workers’ compensation insurance.

Curran, 75, had expressed his interest in the top job at IWIF, which he applied for but did not get. He later applied for the post of assistant vice president in the claims department with responsibility for policy and competence. He was selected from several candidates, IWIF board chairman Daniel E. McKew said.

“I think it will be a great help to have somebody of that experience to be able to help us out with the legislature going forward,” McKew said. “I think it was a coup.”

The former head of IWIF, Thomas Bromwell, was forced to step down after he was indicted on public corruption charges stemming from his time in the state Senate.

IWIF managers selected Curran, 75, for the $125,000-a-year job. The managers report to a board of gubernatorial appointees, but Gov. Martin O’Malley, Curran’s son-in-law, has not named any members to the board.

A spokeswoman for IWIF President Thomas Phelan referred questions to McKew. In a news release, Phelan said Curran “will help ensure that IWIF’s claim department continues its high compliance standards with best industry practices.”

“We are enormously pleased to have secured someone with Joseph Curran’s experience, expertise and skills,” Phelan said in the statement.

McKew said IWIF determined that Curran’s employment would not pose any conflicts of interest.

“We don’t really have anything that comes into conflict with the governor’s policies,” McKew said. “Really, we just have to worry about the changes in the insurance industry. We didn’t see any conflict when we talked to him, and he doesn’t see any conflict, which is why we moved forward.”

Curran’s duties will include providing legal direction on claims, supervising equal employment opportunity in IWIF’s claims department, reviewing claims policies for legal compliance and acting as a liaison with local governments that are IWIF clients. He’s scheduled to start work Wednesday.

IWIF was created nearly a century ago to provide workers’ compensation insurance for those who can’t get it otherwise. It has grown to become the largest provider of such insurance in the state, underwriting the coverage of nearly a quarter of Maryland’s work force. It has assets and reserves of $1.5 billion, and its $47 million budget is funded by premiums and investment income, not tax dollars.


Information from: The (Baltimore) Sun,

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