A federal appeals court on Friday upheld presidential authority to appoint acting directors of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

As part of its appeal of a cease-and-desist order, Doolin Security Savings Bank had challenged the appointments of former acting directors Jonathan Fiechter and Nicolas Retsinas. The thrift claimed the agency could not issue enforcement actions because it lacked a legally appointed director.

But Judge A. Raymond Randolph, writing for a three-judge panel, said the Vacancies Act gave the President authority to appoint Mr. Retsinas as acting director. It also said that it is immaterial whether Mr. Fiechter was legally appointed because Mr. Retsinas could have initiated the enforcement action on his own, regardless of Mr. Fiechter's prior involvement in the case.

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