Office of Group Benefits CEO resigns - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Office of Group Benefits CEO resigns

Scott Kipper Scott Kipper

The CEO of the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits has called it quits. Scott Kipper's resignation will become official June 24. He has been on the job for less than two months. The Senate hasn't even confirmed his position yet.

Kipper's resignation happened at the same time the governor's office is trying to privatize the Office of Group Benefits. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said the office will move forward.

The Office of Group Benefits is a state agency the governor's office believes we don't need. Six weeks ago, long-time CEO Tommy Teague was canned and Scott Kipper was brought in. At the time, Rainwater said it's extremely important to have a leader who will work with us.

"Scott Kipper called us last week and said he decided to so something else," Rainwater said Monday. "His resignation will be effective June 24."

Senate Retirement Committee chair Butch Gautreaux said he believes it's important to keep the Office of Group Benefits intact. He thinks the governor's office simply put the screws to Kipper.

"I think he was just really perplexed morally and ethically and just felt like he couldn't operate under those kinds of rules," Gautreaux explained.

Kipper reportedly didn't want to refuse access to a report from a New Orleans-based company called Chaffe. The report outlines the group benefits privatization plan. Rainwater said the report does not yet need to be public record. A copy was requested.

"Well okay, so here, first of all, the report has just been completed. Secondly, what I've got to make sure is that the report itself does not cause us a problem as we go through a solicitation of offers," Rainwater responded to the request.

"We know why they don't want to show it to us because it indicates that it's not a very smart thing to do. There's no other reason in the world to hold that back. If it was proving their case, they would want everybody and their brother to have a copy," Gautreaux countered.

Rainwater said the administration will try to have someone ready to take Kipper's place by the time he's finished in a couple of weeks.

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