In his last full day in office, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine issued himself several licenses to sell insurance and adjust claims, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
Oxendine did not take the mandated classes or licensing tests, using his authority as insurance commissioner to waive requirements for himself that apply to other Georgians seeking to sell insurance.
State lawmakers accused the former commissioner of an "abuse of power," and his successor said Oxendine used "very, very bad judgment" in granting himself the licenses.
But Oxendine, who left office in January after 16 years, said late last week that he had more than enough experience regulating the industry and helping to write insurance law to qualify for the licenses.
"If 16 years doesn't give you a little bit of insurance experience, I don't know what does," Oxendine told the AJC. "I think that's [worth] a little bit more than taking a test and taking a class.
"The [waiver] law is there. It is at my discretion. Not much to it."
He also said he decided against taking the tests because he worried his presence would be a distraction to other test takers.