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Quackenbush, Family Will Move to Hawaii

September 06, 2000|NANCY VOGEL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO — Former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, who resigned in July, is moving with his family to Hawaii and may write a book about his experiences, his attorney said Tuesday.

Quackenbush quit his post under the threat of impeachment and still faces criminal investigation by the attorney general for his handling of settlements with insurance companies accused of wronging policyholders after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

According to neighbors and Quackenbush attorney Don Heller, Quackenbush already has moved with two of his three children to Hawaii, and his wife, Chris, will follow soon. Reached at their home in Rio Linda, a semirural community a few miles north of downtown Sacramento, Chris Quackenbush refused to talk to reporters.

Heller said Quackenbush has been in Oahu a few days and loves the island.

"A change of location will absolutely be in his benefit, allow him to think things through, to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life," Heller said.

According to state records, by the time he left office in July, Quackenbush had transferred a total of $565,000 in political contributions, mostly from insurance companies, to campaign accounts for his wife's unsuccessful state Senate race in 1998. The transfers allowed the couple to pay off personal loans, including a $456,000 mortgage that was taken out to finance personal loans Chris Quackenbush made to her campaign.

Campaign finance experts said such transfers did not violate state law. Chris Quackenbush has steadfastly defended her husband and argued that Democrats targeted him because he offered the Republican Party's best hope to gain higher statewide office in the next election. Chuck Quackenbush was reelected insurance commissioner in 1998.

The family purchased their home for $235,000 in 1993, according to real estate records.

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