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Wren Loses Nonprofit Presidential Position, Maybe More

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

It appears that his seat in the House of Representatives is not the only thing Greg Wren has lost because of his misdemeanor conviction on charges of using his position for personal gain. Effective with his resignation from the House, former Representative Wren lost his position as president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. An insurance group Wren works for is also reviewing their financial relationship with him, and Wren’s license to insure, which is necessary to work in the industry, may also be in danger.

Wren became president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators last December, and since then – by all accounts – he had been an active executive, aggressively pushing for a greater role for the organization. The nonprofit, also known as NCOIL, focuses on public policy in the area of insurance legislation.

One of Wren’s final acts as president had been to write to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance as an effort to gain a position for NCOIL on the committee, which is part of the Federal Insurance Office.

“We strongly believe that a state lawmaker, a proven national leader on insurance public policy, would provide diversity sought for membership,” Wren said, “while showing lawmakers—at the state and federal level—that policymaker input is important to the FIO mission.”

According to several niche sources, Wren had attended a National Association of Insurance Commissioners conference in Orlando, Florida, at the beginning of this month, but did not in anyway indicate what was to come.

As soon as Wren resigned from his legislative office, he automatically lost his position as NCOIL president. Wren was immediately succeeded by a New York State Senate Democrat, Neil Breslin.

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In addition to his presidential problem, Wren may also have more fundamental issues.

Outside of his former legislative position, Wren privately works as an insurance agent and financial adviser for Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. That company has announced in a statement this week, though, that they are putting their financial relationship with the convicted former Representative on halt for the time being.

“Mr. Wren’s status with our company is under review,” a statement from Northwestern said.

Wren’s attorney, James Anderson, who is a former member of the Alabama Ethics Commission, has said that he believes the move to be based on a misunderstanding of the plea agreement, emphasizing that Wren pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor.

Finally, according to Alabama Department of Insurance rules, Wren’s license to practice may even be in jeopardy. Though only felony convictions virtually automatically result in license revocation, a misdemeanor conviction may be enough to bar Wren from practice under the Commissioner’s discretion, if a challenge of his license arises.

Wren was arrested and convicted on April 1, 2014, of illegally providing confidential medicaid documents to a private pharmaceutical company for which he worked as a consultant.

Wren faces a 12 month suspended sentence, probation, and $24,000 in restitution to be paid to Alabama’s General Fund.

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Lee Hedgepeth
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