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Regulator who had oversight of IndyMac Bank retires

A federal regulator who played a role in both the 1989 failure of Lincoln Savings & Loan and last year's collapse of Pasadena's IndyMac Bank is retiring.

Darrel W. Dochow had earlier been relieved of his duties as Western regional director of the federal Office of Thrift Supervision. That action came late last year after the Treasury Department's inspector general found that IndyMac had been allowed to report its finances in a way that delayed disclosure of the extent of its problems.

"I must admit that being singled out for a series of highly personal attacks after the failure of a prominent thrift has been painful, but I have been humbled by the tremendous support and words of encouragement by many people who truly know me and the job that I have done over the years," Dochow, 59, wrote in an e-mail to colleagues today.

Darreldochow IndyMac was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last July and is expected to cost the agency more than $9 billion. In addition, the bank held more than $600 million in uninsured deposits.

"After more than 30 years of government service Darrel Dochow has announced his decision to retire from the OTS. And we wish him well," said OTS spokesman William Ruberry, who declined to comment further.

Two decades ago, as head of supervision and regulation at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, Dochow ignored pleas from California state regulators to intervene against Irvine-based Lincoln Savings. Two years after those requests were made, Lincoln collapsed in what was then the largest S&L failure.

Dochow was demoted but then worked his way back up the ranks and was promoted in September 2007 to be OTS’ regional director for the West. That put him directly over three of the nation’s largest savings and loans -- Washington Mutual, Countrywide Bank and IndyMac.

The Times revealed in December that the Treasury Department's inspector general was investigating how IndyMac was allowed to file financial statements that indicated that a capital infusion received from its parent firm last May had happened before March 31.

That was an important distinction because it allowed the bank to meet a key financial benchmark for the first three months of the year and keep its doors open through spring -- during which time it raised interest rates to lure in cash from new depositors.

-- William Heisel

Photo: Darrel Dochow. Credit: James Kegley

 
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