Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck suspends himself from office

ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) – Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck announced Thursday that he is voluntarily suspending himself from office after his indictment on fraud charges.

In a letter sent to Gov. Brian Kemp, Beck declared his innocence and said he doesn’t intend to resign.

“In the coming months, it will, unfortunately, be necessary for me to spend a significant amount of my time defending myself against these false charges,” Beck wrote in the letter. “Preparing for that trial will be a significant distraction from my public duties.”

On Wednesday, Kemp asked Beck to resign, saying it would be "highly inappropriate" for Beck to continue to hold public office and he should "do what is right for our state and step down immediately."

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Beck surrendered to authorities on Wednesday, one day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 38 counts.

The charges relate to Beck’s time as general manager of operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association, which was created to provide high-risk property insurance to Georgia homeowners.

He’s accused of using fraudulent schemes to embezzle more than $2 million between 2013 and 2018.

Beck has entered a plea of not guilty.

RELATED: Grand jury indicts Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck

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