David Regan, and his business Regan Bail Bonds, were twice exonerated by administrative hearing judges
A Vancouver business man has been exonerated of charges against him and his company by the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s Office.
David Regan, and his business Regan Bail Bonds, Inc., were subject to an investigation last year after he said complaints were made by his local business competitors. As a result of those complaints, State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler was seeking more than $100,000 in fines and penalties against Regan Bail Bonds.
Twice in the last four months, administrative hearing judges exonerated Regan from the charges. In his charges, the insurance commissioner claimed that bail bonds issued by Regan’s company were in an improper format and violated insurance rules. The claim resulted in two separate actions against Regan, one seeking a cease and desist order and the other seeking over $100,000 in fines.
On Feb. 5, Administrative Law Judge Terry Schuh ruled against the insurance commissioner and cleared Regan of any wrongdoing.
According to Regan, the charges stemmed from Regan Bail Bonds guaranteeing to pay the court the bail amount when a person bailed by the company did not appear in court. Regan, whose company used this protocol more than 300 times, said this was a common practice in Washington since the 1800s and is still commonly used in counties and by bail bond companies across the state. He said the practice has become less common as insurance companies came into Washington and began selling insurance policies to pay the bail money when a person fails to appear, allowing less financially sound companies to enter the business.
According to Judge Schuh, the insurance commissioner confused the two systems and wrongly accused Regan and Regan Bail Bonds of acting as an insurance company when in fact his company had simply been acting in the historically proper and legal manner.
The Insurance Commissioner’s office appealed Judge Schuh’s ruling. This time the matter was heard by senior Administrative Law/Reviewing Officer Julia Eisentrout. Judge Eisentrout issued her ruling on June 25, holding that “Regan did not issue corporate surety bonds. It simply guaranteed the promise to be financially liable with general corporate assets, in the event it was unable to produce the defendant. This construct follows the nature of the bail bond arrangement.’’
The insurance commissioner’s action was brought forward in the middle of Regan’s election campaign for Vancouver City Council in 2019. Regan stated during the campaign and proceedings that the insurance commissioner did not understand the Bail Bond industry or the laws applicable to the industry. Regan now feels he has been proved correct by the holdings of the two judges.
“As a former Vancouver City Council candidate, the timing of the insurance commissioner’s online press releases immediately before the primary and during the general elections, felt very deliberate,’’ Regan told Clark County Today this week. “For almost a decade I have been on the legislative board for my state association. Our office takes pride in following the law and conducting ourselves professionally. I am extremely puzzled why the insurance commissioner singled out our company for an industry standard practice that the courts have long approved. The harm is immeasurable. I only hope that other law abiding companies such as ours, don’t have to experience this form of government overreach.”
Regan was defeated by Ty Stober in the race for Vancouver City Council position No. 5.