• Department of Finance denies any wrong-doing by new Secretary General following Sinn Féin questions

    Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty was suspended from the Dáil this morning following questions about the suitability of the newly appointed Secretary General of the Department of Finance.

    John Moran was confirmed as the new Secretary General of the Department of Finance on Tuesday after being Second Secretary for almost a year, and before that worked at the Central Bank. Moran replaces Kevin Cardiff as the most senior civil servant in the Department of Fianance.

    Doherty's questions in the Dáil this morning centred on Moran's position with Zurich Capital Markets. Moran was CEO of Zurich from 2003 to 2004 and was a founding employee of the firm from 1997. Moran established the organisation's base in the IFSC (ZCM Ireland).

    Doherty's attention centres on a censure by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the defrauding of mutual funds between 1999 and 2003, for which the firm was ordered to pay $16.8m. The firm, when paying the fine, did not admit or deny any wrong-doing and has since been wound-down.

    Doherty, speaking to Politics.ie has said he is asking two questions this afternoon.

    1. As the CEO of Zurich Capital Markets (“ZCM”) or at any other time, was Mr. Moran ever found guilty of any offence, either by the US SEC or another body?

    2. Was Mr. Moran’s 5-year hiatus from his financial career driven by any formal censure or another penalty (e.g., a ban from a financial profession)?
    A Department of Finance spokesman, speaking to Politics.ie this afternoon has said the answer to both of Deputy Doherty's questions is "no". The censure by the SEC was due to transactions in the New York office of the business between 1999 and 2003, before Moran had taken over as CEO.

    The Department of Finance spokesperson also pointed out to Politics.ie that the SEC in no way names of mentions Moran for any wrongdoing. Moran was tasked with dealing with and resolving the issue in the role as CEO.

    Doherty has insisted that he is not making any allegations of wrong-doing about Moran, but that he believes it's right and proper that public appointments are scrutinised.

    Doherty says that now he's been suspended, he's unable to bring forward legislation to bring NAMA under the remit of the Freedom of Information Act.

    Rather oddly and interestingly is what's left out of Moran's official CV, is that between Zurich and the Central Bank Moran ran a juice bar called JusSu in Cordes Sur Cie in France, which he apparently still owns.

    Update at 9.45pm: A spokesperson from Pearse Doherty has been on to me to point out that there's been some confusion about the two questions being asked above, the questions were from a source who gave information to Doherty.

    The two questions above were not asked by Pearse Doherty. They were received, along with other information, from a confidential source. On the basis of this information deputy Doherty raised the need for Dail scrutiny of the appointment of the new Secretary General of the Department of Finance John Moran. Irrespective of the answers to these two specific questions there is a need for greater scrutiny of this appointment as a result of concerns about the new appointee's background in Zurich Capital Markets (ZCM).

    Statement on behalf of Pearse Doherty TD
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Pearse Doherty suspended from Dáil started by darkknight. You can leave a comment on this article by visiting the original post.