The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Friday that its enforcement chief, Anthony Alexis, plans to leave the agency after more than five and a half years.
The departure of Alexis, a former federal prosecutor, is likely to further fuel speculation that the CFPB Director Richard Cordray plans to leave the agency soon to run for governor of Ohio.
A CFPB spokesman confirmed that Alexis plans to leave the bureau but provided no further details. The National Law Journal first reported the story.
Alexis joined the then-newly formed CFPB in 2012 as an enforcement attorney and rose through the ranks to became the CFPB's assistant director of enforcement. Known for his quiet demeanor, he oversaw the enforcement division's prosecution of a wide range of companies, including payday lenders, debt collectors, payment processors and mortgage lenders.
As assistant director of enforcement, Alexis was one of several gatekeepers who processed proposals and determined which companies and issues the CFPB would investigate.
Cordray has repeatedly come under attack from the financial industry and bank trade groups for engaging in "rulemaking by enforcement," or using consent orders against companies as a way to craft policy.
During Alexis' tenure, the most frequently cited case in which a consent order changed an existing rule was an action taken in 2015 against PHH Corp., a New Jersey mortgage servicer that the CFPB accused of illegally taking kickbacks for customer referrals. PHH sued the CFPB, arguing that the bureau was unconstitutional. An appeal of that case is pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Alexis was hired in early 2012 from Mayer Brown, where he was a partner in complex litigation and white-collar crimes. He had spent 13 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington where he worked in both civil and criminal divisions. He also had been a trial attorney in the Justice Department's commercial litigation branch.