Austin, TX – Texas Department of Insurance General Counsel Sara Waitt is retiring in December after 24 years with the agency.
“Sara has been a valued friend and legal colleague for the past two decades,” said Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax, who met Waitt when he was working on insurance issues at the Texas Attorney General’s Office. “She has served both the agency and state extremely well, and I wish her nothing but the best.”
Waitt and her staff helped finalize two large settlements for consumers this year – a $353 million settlement signed with State Farm Lloyds and an $84 million agreement with Farmers Insurance Group.
“We were able to return money to consumers, and that’s a great feeling,” Waitt said. “I have loved my time at this agency. The staff are smart, capable, and committed to doing what’s right for the people of Texas. It’s been an honor and pleasure to work here.”
Waitt joined TDI in 1987 as a law clerk in the liquidation division. She left the agency twice to work at a private law firm. She last returned to TDI in 1999 as the head of legal services and served as general counsel under three insurance commissioners.
TDI Chief Clerk Norma Garcia will become the commissioner’s general counsel, and Associate Commissioner Stan Strickland will be the deputy commissioner over the TDI Legal Division.
Garcia has been a lawyer at TDI since 1998. Before that, she worked in the Office of the Attorney General’s Financial Litigation Division. She has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Strickland joined TDI as a staff attorney in 1996 and has been serving as head of the Legal Section since 2011. He works closely with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and serves on the organization’s cyber security task force. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston.