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Salvatore F. Sodano, Exchange Act Rel. 5691, December 13, 2007

Denial of motion for summary affirmance.


The ALJ dismissed the proceedings and the Division of Enforcement appealed.  The respondent filed a motion for summary affirmance.  In this order the Commission denies that motion.

Sodano was the Chairman and CEO of the AMEX.  The AMEX settled proceedings that charged it with violation of various option trading rules.  The ALJ dismissed the proceedings against Soldano after ruling that Section 19(h)(4) of the Exchange Act, the provision under which the case was brought, only authorizes proceedings against persons who are currently officers or directors of self regulatory organizations.  When the proceedings were brought, Sodano had previously resigned his positions as AMEX chairman and CEO.  

Although Rule 411(e)(2) permits the Commission to summarily affirm an ALJ's initial decision, the Commission has previously stated that it will grant such motions sparingly. Here, the Division of Enforcement argued that there is no Commission precedent that supports the ALJ's interpretation.  Also, it pointed out that the matter raises important policy issues as the ALJ's interpretation would permit someone to resign even after proceedings had been brought in order to avoid sanctions.

Because the appeal raises important policy considerations, the Commission denied the motion.


The motion was filed at the end of August 2007.  It took the Commission 3 1/2 months to deny this motion in a routine and rather perfunctory 2 1/2 page order.