Top Democratic Lawmakers Demand SEC's Pitt Resign

The two highest-ranking Democrats in Congress Wednesday wrote to President Bush demanding the resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt said in the letter they were concerned about Pitt's recent actions related to the selection of a chairman for a new national accounting oversight board.

"We believe that you should replace him immediately as SEC chair," the two lawmakers said in the letter to Bush.

SEC spokeswoman Christi Harlan said, "The chairman serves at the pleasure of the president. We've heard enthusiastic endorsements from the president on the chairman's work."

Pitt, appointed to head the SEC in summer 2001, faces a political storm over the naming of five people to the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB.

Congress ordered the SEC to set up the PCAOB earlier this year after a cascade of corporate and accounting scandals that hammered Wall Street and undermined investor confidence.