WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday that it has promoted Gerald Hodgkins to become an associate director in its division of enforcement.

Hodgkins, who worked on a municipal bond case earlier this year, succeeds Frederic Firestone, who recently left the commission for private practice.

Currently an assistant director of enforcement, Hodgkins, 44, has worked in the division since 1997 and has overseen a number of high-profile investigations resulting in significant enforcement actions, including cases involving public company accounting and disclosure issues and broker-dealer regulation, the SEC said in a press release.

He was involved with the commission’s so-called 21(a) report in March detailing how a former vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase Bank who oversaw but did not work for the bank’s bond-underwriting subsidiary made political contributions to a former California treasurer.

The report, which took no enforcement action against JPMorgan, said that a bank-holding company executive who oversees but is not an employee of a broker-dealer subsidiary’s municipal unit may still be considered a “municipal finance professional” and subject to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Rule G-37 restrictions on political contributions.

Before joining the SEC, Hodgkins was a law clerk to the late Charles Richey of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He also was a litigation associate at Howrey LLP. 

Hodgkins received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.

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