Federal Trade Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga today announced her resignation to be effective June 3, 1998. Azcuenaga has served as a commissioner during three presidential administrations. A political independent, she was appointed commissioner by President Ronald Reagan and sworn in on November 27, 1984, for a term expiring September 25, 1991. She was reappointed by President George Bush for a second term of office, expiring September 25, 1998.
In her letter to the President, Azcuenaga said: "Although my departure will not be without regret, I have decided that, after more than 25 years in public service, it is time to seek a new challenge in the private sector. I am profoundly grateful to have had this opportunity to have served my country and the interests of American consumers."
FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said, "Mary will be remembered by her colleagues for her rigorous intellect, her dedication and her fairness. She brought to her job substantive expertise gained from her two decades at the Commission. Her work as a commissioner reflected her extensive experience as a trial attorney and as legal counsel to the agency."
During her tenure as commissioner, Azcuenaga wrote many adjudicative opinions on behalf of the Commission. In merger cases she wrote, among others, the Commission opinions in Occidental Petroleum Co., involving producers of polyvinyl chloride and vinyl chloride monomer; and Olin Corp., involving producers of swimming pool chemicals; and Adventist Health Systems/West Ukiah Adventist Hospital, a hospital merger. In other competition law matters, she wrote the Commission opinion in Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, which ultimately was upheld by the Supreme Court. Other major opinions in competition law matters include Boise Cascade Corp., Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Louisiana-Pacific Corp., and Motor Transport Association of Connecticut. In furtherance of the Commission's consumer protection mandate, Azcuenaga wrote an important unfairness doctrine opinion in Orkin Exterminating Co. Her consumer protection law opinions also include, among others, Figgie International, Inc., and Brake Guard Products, Inc.
In addition to authoring opinions on behalf of a majority of the Commission, Azcuenaga has written numerous separate statements to clarify points of law or policy in connection with both adjudicated matters and consent orders. Some of the more notable of these statements include B.F. Goodrich, California Dental Association, and Dell Computer Corp.