The Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday said Charles D. Niemeier would serve as acting chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, replacing William Webster, who resigned.

Niemeier will fill this role on an interim basis until the commission selects a permanent replacement for Webster.

Webster’s appointment by SEC Chairman Harvey L. Pitt caused an uproar late last year and proved to be the last straw in a series of missteps by Pitt that led to his eventual resignation from the post. Webster resigned shortly after taking the appointed post. Pitt is still serving as chairman until a replacement can be named.

Webster’s appointment came under fire because it was made public that Pitt knew of Webster’s work for the audit committee of U.S. Technologies, a company that has been accused of fraud and whose chief exec has a history of fraud claims against him.

The board, which was established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, oversees the audits of the financial statements of public companies. Under the act, the commission selects the board’s members and chair.

"We are delighted that Charley Niemeier has agreed to be the Acting Chair of this important Board," Pitt said, in a statement. "The commission looks forward to working with Charley and all of the board members as they develop the board’s programs and begin operations."

Niemeier, whose term on the board expires this year, was formerly the chief accountant in the commission’s division of enforcement and co-chairman of the commission’s financial fraud task force.  


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