Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Anderson Township Update: Trustee Kevin P. O'Brien Edition

Awhile back, I flagged an email from a source who wrote in with the following:
A newly elected Anderson Township Trustee, who ran on a campaign slogan of “Integrity Counts in an Election,” may soon be under investigation for actively violating federal securities regulations, since his broker’s license was permanently revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission this past September 14th and he was discharged by the securities firm, Robert W. Baird & Co.

According to public records obtained from FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Mr. Kevin P. OBrien was fired and his license permanently revoked on September 14, 2009, as part of a settlement made by his employer, R.W. Baird, in conjunction with an allegation that Mr. OBrien made misappropriations, involving up to $378,000 of a customer’s funds, “for his own use and benefit.”

Since OBrien’s license revocation was never publicly disclosed, even though it occurred in the midst of a heated campaign barely six weeks prior to election day, there is serious concern on the part of some Anderson voters that the matter might be part of a cover up involving OBrien, R.W. Baird and/or others and that the Township’s highly favorable bond rating may be at risk. Baird could likely be initiating an action, in the near future, to recover part, or all, of its settlement costs from Mr. OBrien.

Records also show that this was not the first regulatory sanction involving Mr. O'Brien, in addition to a number of customer disputes. These documents indicate that there was an acceptance, waiver and consent regarding the resolution of the case, as FINRA provides binding arbitration which investors are forced to agree to, rather than being able to bring their disputes into the federal court system.

There is no confirmation that there was ever a criminal investigation of the matter or if there was ever a criminal report filed by Baird or the unnamed customer. It is also unknown as to whether the misappropriated funds were reported by OBrien as income to the Internal Revenue Service.

In the event Mr. O'Brien fails to resign from office, the initiation of a recall petition is one of the options available to voters who believe that they were deceived
Here is the information from the FINRA:


I am not sure what to think of all of this, so if you are an expert in any of the fields that apply here, feel free to drop me a line and sound off...