Court upholds insurance commissioner’s revocation of broker-agent’s license for sexual misconduct
News: 2015 Press Release
FRESNO, Calif. - The Court of Appeal upheld a decision by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to revoke the broker-agent license of Wellman Dale Shew, 55, of Fresno. When the Department of Insurance learned that Shew had two misdemeanor convictions in California and Nevada for sexually-related misconduct, the commissioner revoked Shew's insurance license.
Shew installed a video camera in the bathroom of his Fresno area insurance agency office and, over the course of several weeks, secretly recorded a female employee while she used the bathroom. He was convicted in California of disorderly conduct (peeping). In Nevada, Shew was convicted of gross lewdness for taking topless photographs of a sleeping friend without her knowledge or consent.
"Shew was convicted of sexual misconduct with two people he knew, including an employee over whom he had power and authority," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Licensed agents and brokers have access to consumers' private and personal information and they must be trustworthy and held to the highest standards of conduct, in order to protect the public. Shew's actions were an egregious violation of trust, therefore he should not hold an agent license in California."
Under his authority to protect consumers from agents and brokers who are a threat to the public and unfit to hold a license, the commissioner revoked Shew's broker-agent license in 2013.
Shew appealed the commissioner's order revoking his license. In January 2014, a Fresno Superior Court judge upheld the commissioner's order. Shew then appealed the trial court's ruling to the Court of Appeal. On June 1, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, upheld the revocation of Shew's insurance license. Shew is no longer a licensed insurance broker-agent.
Court of Appeal Opinion -link to legal records:
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.