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SOA: Still No Comment

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The Society of Actuaries says it will have no more comment on a suit brought against it by a former executive director.

Cecil Bykerk, president of SOA, Schaumburg, Ill., has sent a letter to SOA members responding to their interest in an SOA statement released earlier in the summer.

Bykerk says in the new statement that the settlement was covered by insurance and reserves and that no member programs would be affected by the settlement.

“Given the sensitive nature of the issues addressed, the SOA has been careful in its communications on this matter,” Bykerk writes in the letter. “I hope you understand, then, why we plan no further comment.”

The suit was brought by Sarah Sanford, who was terminated as executive director by the society in 2006 after Bruce Schobel, then SOA president, made comments about her that later were found to be libelous by a court and by an arbitration panel, according to court papers.

The New York Times and other media outlets have reported that the SOA, Schaumburg, Ohio, settled with Sanford for about $2 million.

Details of Sanford’s suit came to light in a controversy affecting another actuarial group, the American Academy of Actuaries, Washington, when its board clashed with Schobel over Sanford’s charges. The AAA board had named Schobel to become the group’s president in October, but the AAA board withdrew that appointment after details of the SOA case came out.

Now Schobel is suing, charging that the AAA board acted illegally and in violation of the group’s own bylaws by voting to remove him.

A court hearing on Schobel’s dispute with the AAA is set to resume in Washington Tuesday.


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