Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro listens during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) July 18, 2012 at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. Members of FSOC voted during the meeting on a report to Congress regarding a study of contingent capital required by the Dodd-Frank Act, and also voted on the Council's annual report. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mary Schapiro is stepping down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after helping lead the U.S. government's regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis.
The SEC says Schapiro will leave on Dec. 14. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. She took over after the agency failed to detect the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Schapiro is credited with helping reshaping the agency during a tumultuous period. But critics say she failed to act aggressively to bring charges against leading figures who contributed to the financial crisis.
It isn't clear who will replace Schapiro. But several news reports suggest Mary John Miller, a top Treasury Department official, is a leading candidate.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)