Thursday, May 26


Insurance company CEO responds
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[MAY 26, 2005]  A letter terminating the services of the city's insurance consultant, Debbra Callan of Independent Risk Managers, went out May 17. By May 20 city attorney Bill Bates got a call, the first of two.

A Chicago lawyer, Richard Waress, called on behalf of Callan, saying he had reviewed the letter and was taking the matter up the ladder in the Independent Risk Managers and the Horton Group. He said that the main problem appeared to be less-than-optimal communication in the bidding process

The letter documented Callan's failure to disclose personal and professional relationships to the recommended insurance group and agent, and her failure to point out that the recommended insurance did not meet deductibles in several areas in recent bid specs for workman's compensation and liability insurances. The city no longer wished to retain her services.

In the next phone call from the lawyer, on Tuesday, he was speaking on behalf of Callan, Independent Risk Managers and the Horton Group, and it had gone to the highest level, Mr. Horton of the Horton Group.

The lawyer said that Mr. Horton was concerned and unhappy at what had happened. He wished to maintain the good will of the city of Lincoln, as well as good will within the industry.

A faxed letter arrived at 4:59 p.m. Tuesday, agreeing to relieve all parties -- the city of Lincoln, Independent Risk Managers and the Horton Group -- from the contract. But it went further.

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The contract was nullified as of the date that it was contracted on Feb. 1. Included in the response was an offer that all fees for service that have been paid since that time will be returned to the city.

In summary Bates said that it was relayed to him that Mr. Horton was troubled and concerned that it was perceived that they did not adequately perform their service. Horton is committed to mutual trust that arises out of highest professionalism and business standards.

Mr. Horton has offered to personally meet to maintain good will with the city. The company would like to be reconsidered as the city's insurance consultant.

Bates said that the company was very responsive and concerned. He said that with today's insurance matters for the city we need a consultant. There were chuckles when he added that he'd had a few calls with offers to do that. They're out there, he said.

The insurance committee, with Alderman Marty Neitzel as chair, will meet to discuss the matter.

[Jan Youngquist]

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