Insurance agent Kelsey Ketron Randolph filed a motion Monday to block the state’s attempt to keep her from being able to reactivate her license.
The Insurance Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance had filed a cease and desist order on May 29 to stop her from selling insurance because it says her license is inactive. She was a licensee from Feb. 16, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2016, according to the division.
The Insurance Division held a hearing in July to block Randolph’s ability to reactivate her license. Her lawyers asked for a delay to have time to represent her. The rescheduled hearing was held Monday in Nashville.
Randolph was the vice president of her family’s company, Universal International Insurance Inc. Her father, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, is the owner and Designated Responsible Licensed Producer (DRLP). Ketron announced in late July that his daughter was taking a leave of absence.
Universal is named in a lawsuit filed August 2018 by Susan and Charles Daniel Calvin of Shelbyville in which they claim that Randolph accepted payment to open a homeowners’ insurance policy on their behalf but never followed through, committing a breach of contract. They say their house was badly damaged from frozen pipes around January 2018.
Randolph was the agent and primary point of contact for the Calvins, despite having an expired license, the Tennessee Insurance Division said.
On Monday, Administrative Judge Phillip Hilliard heard Randolph’s attorneys give their motion to dismiss and heard from the state why they disagreed, said Kevin Walters, communications director for the Department of Commerce & Insurance. Hilliard said he would take the matter under advisement. He did not say when he would make a decision.
In her motion to dismiss, Randolph says the notice “does not state acts or omissions upon which the Agency may proceed.” The Insurance Division’s notice of hearing and charges accuses her of unlicensed sale of insurance, misappropriation of funds and fraudulent practices.
The filing says the notice is “almost entirely devoid of allegations that Ms. Ketron took any actions at all, let alone any actions that would constitute the unlicensed sale of insurance, misappropriation, or fraudulent practices. Instead, the Notice contains nothing more than conclusory allegations.”
(Documents in the case refer to Randolph by her maiden name.)
Randolph said in her filings that the division’s accusations has charged her with fraudulent actions which are easy to make, and for fairness, she should receive as much detail as possible to prepare her case.
The Insurance Division said it disagreed with Randolph.
The division said its notice and accompanying documents provide “more than sufficient acts or omissions upon which the Agency may proceed and that the Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss is without merit and should be dismissed.”
In response to Randolph saying the division provided only conclusory allegations, the division says it provided evidence. The division accuses Randolph of seeking to “try the facts of this case in a preliminary motion, instead of in the proper course of these proceedings.”
In the division’s conclusion, it says, “The argument brought by the Respondent does not revolve around a lack of acts or omissions communicated by the Division, but instead focuses on the sufficiency of the factual allegations and evidentiary support included therein. To be sure, the Respondent has the right to bring the sufficiency of facts and evidence into question, but not at this stage of the proceedings.”
The division goes on to say it provided Randolph with information “above and beyond” her due process rights and so the division has met its notice requirements.