Al Redmer Jr. was confirmed Monday by the Maryland Senate for another term as the state’s insurance commissioner, an independent state agency that regulates the state’s $28.5 billion insurance industry.
Before being tapped by Gov. Larry Hogan for the post, Redmer served in the General Assembly representing Baltimore County and was House minority leader. He also managed Redmer Insurance Group LLC, and owned Redmer Financial Group.
The Maryland Insurance Administration has a $31 million budget and 266 employees.
Redmer said on Friday that he was expanding a review of insurance companies involved in donating or selling books self-published by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. He previously had ordered a so-called targeted market conduct examination of three companies that have acknowledged providing funds directly or indirectly to Healthy Holly LLC for books, including Kaiser Permanente, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund.
He has not said how many more companies would be reviewed. Some insurers, including Evergreen and Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company, have told The Sun they did not buy any books or donate funds for them.
Redmer said the agency also is cooperating with other city and state investigations related to the University of Maryland Medical System. Pugh was a board member when she sold the hospital system $500,000 worth of book in a no-bid deal. She’s since resigned the board and is on a health-related leave from the mayor’s office. The Office of the State Prosecutor has also opened an investigation into Pugh’s business deals.
It’s not known if Redmer will review Kelly & Associates Insurance Group. Officials with that company sat on six hospital system boards and also won contracts for work with the system and its hospitals.
Redmer’s latest term as commissioner runs through May 31, 2022. He previously served as commissioner from June 2003 until October 2005 and again from January 2015 until present. He also ran as the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive in 2018.