State News

NC insurance commissioner says Blue Cross should name interim chief after CEO's DWI arrest

Posted September 19, 2019 4:46 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2019 7:20 p.m. EDT

Patrick Hugh Conway

— The chief executive of North Carolina's largest insurer will retain his job despite a drunken driving arrest earlier this summer.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina issued a statement Thursday saying that President and CEO Dr. Patrick Conway was in a car accident in June.

According to court records, Conway was involved in a June 22 crash on Interstate 85 in Randolph County. No one was injured, but Conway's two daughters were in the car at the time. He was charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse.

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.

Blue Cross released a statement saying Conway immediately told the Board of Trustees about the situation.

"Our board takes this matter very seriously. Upon learning of the incident in June, it immediately established a committee within the board to review the situation and engaged outside counsel and experts to aid the process," the statement said. "After careful consideration, the Board of Trustees decided that Patrick’s strong leadership will continue to be an asset and he will remain as President and CEO."

But state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said Friday that he asked Blue Cross' board to consider naming an interim CEO until the criminal charges against Conway are resolved.

"What is even more alarming is the appearance that the board and executive team worked to hide the arrest from the public’s attention – then was almost dismissive of the troubling charges when reported in the news media," Causey said in a statement. "One would expect the board and the executive team at [Blue Cross] to be much more accountable, responsible and transparent to their policyholders and to the public at large.

"With health insurance being a top issue in our nation and our state, North Carolina consumers need to have utmost confidence in their leaders at this critical time," he added.

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