The Office of the Inspector General of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Report of Investigation that concluded that SEC-related hearings before administrative law judges were not conducted under improper influence nor did they reflect a home court advantage. OIG’s inquiry was prompted by a complaint of bias by administrative law judges leveled by Erica Williams, a former deputy chief of staff in the SEC’s Office of the Chair. In June 2015, Ms. Williams complained about “alleged potential issues of fairness and bias in the SEC’s administrative proceedings,” including similar allegations previously made by Timbervest, LLC in connection with an SEC administrative proceeding against it brought by the agency’s Division of Enforcement. As part of its investigation, OIG interviewed numerous current and former SEC ALJs and reviewed relevant documents. In the end, OIG noted “it did not develop any evidence to support the allegations of improper influence.” However, OIG did identify some issues related to the timeliness of some ALJ decisions and the procedural quality of some ALJs’ work. (Click here for a related article regarding Timbervest LLC entitled, “Federal Judges in NY and Georgia Rule Against SEC for Enforcement Action Forum Choice Because of ALJ Selection Process” in the August 14, 2015 edition of Bridging the Week.)