Former Prudential Securities Inc. investment banker Mark D. Schwartz said yesterday that he stands by his claim -- rejected this month by arbitrators -- that the firm coerced political contributions from its employees.
In a four-paragraph statement, Mr. Schwartz said his claims merit further investigation even though arbitrators with the National Association of Securities Dealers ruled against his allegations in a May 11 decision made public on Monday.
Prudential has said the decision vindicated the firm and its executives. The firm declined yesterday to respond to Mr. Schwartz's remarks.
While declining to be interviewed, Mr. Schwartz said in a statement that his claims were supported by five witnesses during a seven-month hearing process in Philadelphia.
"I stand by my account of the events which transpired," he wrote. "Now that there is a complete record of all of the testimony, I hope that the NASD and other industry-sponsored bodies will take the initiative to investigate what happened here. If the industry won't do so, then perhaps some outside agency which serves the public interest will."
Mr. Schwartz, currently a senior vice president at the Philadelphia law firm of A. Webster Dougherty & Co., had sought damages in excess of $100,000, claiming he was fired in retaliation for questioning political activities in Prudential's public finance department. The three-member arbitration panel rejected that claim in its decision.
"I will forever question the firm's ability or desire to enforce the ethical standards it advertised," he wrote. "The fact remains that I complained to the appropriate officials and I never even a return phone call."