WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - The chief of enforcement for
municipal securities and public pensions at the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission, Elaine Greenberg, will step down in
July to begin working in the private sector, the SEC said on
Greenberg was the first head of the enforcement unit, which
was created in January 2010, and led it through many major
investigations and precedent-setting cases. The unit was unusual
because of its dual mandate to police both municipal securities
and the retirement systems for state and local employees.
Greenberg also has run the Philadelphia regional office's
enforcement program since December 2006 and worked at the
regulator for 25 years total.
Within months of becoming chief of the unit, Greenberg
turned up the heat on the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market.
In the summer of 2010, the SEC charged New Jersey with
securities fraud for allegedly failing to disclose its public
pension shortfall, the first enforcement action against a state.
Since then, it has also charged Illinois in a similar case,
as well as former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a
"pay-to-play" scheme involving pension money.
Greenberg also took on one of the biggest scandals in the
market in the last decade - alleged bid-rigging for derivatives
that municipalities bought using bond proceeds. Cities would
"park" money from bond sales in guaranteed investment contracts
sold by banks and insurance companies until they needed the
From December 2010 to December 2011, the SEC charged five
major financial institutions, including Bank of America,
as part of a complicated scheme of allegedly paying off bidding
agents to win business. As part of the settlement, the five
firms returned more than $700 million to the affected
Most recently, Greenberg led the groundbreaking charges
against Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg for allegedly
committing fraud by making misleading statements in speeches and
"Elaine's leadership of the unit and her efforts on behalf
of investors have been groundbreaking and have had a tremendous
impact on the behavior of participants in the municipal
securities and public pensions markets," said SEC Commissioner
Elisse Walter, in a statement.
Greenberg was not available for comment, but in a statement
released by the SEC she said she was "fortunate to have served
alongside such talented and dedicated colleagues over these many
years and am proud and appreciative of our collective
achievements on behalf of the nation's investors and the
The commission has made major personnel changes since Mary
Jo White became chair of the regulator in April. Recently, White
appointed Andrew Ceresney and George Canellos as co-directors of
the Enforcement Division, as well as Anne Hall to be the new