Former California Insurance Commissioner Facing Further Scrutiny

March 3, 2008

California’s former insurance commissioner, who resigned during a 2000 election scandal, is again facing scrutiny — this time as a Florida lawman who shot someone he was trying to arrest.

Lee County Deputy Chuck Quackenbush, 54, was placed on administrative leave this week pending a required internal investigation into the shooting.

“That’s what they always do,” he said from his home Saturday. “I can’t really discuss it.”

Quackenbush was helping a woman retrieve her belongings after a domestic incident the previous night with her husband. Authorities had issued a warrant for the husband’s arrest.

Quackenbush found the husband inside the home and tried to place him in handcuffs, but he resisted, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

During a struggle, the man managed to grab Quackenbush’s Taser and point it at him, the statement said. In response, Quackenbush shot him.

The man was taken to a hospital and was expected to recover from his injuries. Quackenbush was treated for minor cuts and bruises.

In 2000, Quackenbush resigned from his office as insurance commissioner amid corruption allegations.

He stepped down rather than face impeachment on allegations that he let insurance companies give $13 million to nonprofit foundations to benefit his re-election campaign instead of requiring them to pay fines for mishandling claims from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. He was never charged with any crime.

Quackenbush became a road patrol deputy in Florida in June 2005.

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