Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on April 13, 2000, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to amend Amex Rule 345 and Article V, Section 1 of the Exchange Constitution: (i) To give the Exchange's Enforcement Department the right to appeal a decision of a Disciplinary Panel, and (ii) to give the Amex Adjudicatory Council and Amex Board of Governors authority to increase the penalty imposed by a Disciplinary Panel.
The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Amex and at the Commission.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Start Printed Page 47529Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
a. Constitution Article V, Section 1(c) and Rule 345(f)
Under Article V, Section 1(c) of the Exchange Constitution and Rule 345, any member, member organization, approved person, or employee of a member or member organization found guilty of charges by an Exchange Disciplinary Panel may appeal the determination and/or penalty imposed by the Panel to the Amex Adjudicatory Council (“AAC”). The Exchange's Enforcement Department, however, may not appeal a Disciplinary Panel's determination pursuant to these Constitutional and rule provisions. The Exchange believes that its staff should also have a direct right of appeal in those situations where it believes that the Disciplinary Panel has imposed inadequate sanctions or made a determination inconsistent with evidence presented.
In reviewing a disciplinary decision, the AAC currently may affirm the determination and penalty imposed, modify or reverse the determination, decrease or eliminate the penalty imposed, impose any lesser penalty permitted, or remand the matter to the Disciplinary Panel for further consideration. However, the AAC may not increase or impose a greater penalty on appeal. The Exchange proposes that the AAC be given the authority to increase the penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Panel if it deems it appropriate. This authority would give the reviewing body the full range of alternatives that it needs to deal effectively with appeals. Additionally, this authority is necessary to give effect to the Enforcement Department's proposed right of appeal.
b. Constitution Article V, Section 1(d) and Rule 345(g)
Pursuant to Exchange Constitution Article V, Section 1(d) and Rule 345(g), as the next level of review, any four members of the Board of Governors may call a proposed decision of the AAC in a contested disciplinary matter for review by the entire Board. In reviewing a decision by the AAC, the Board may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the AAC, or remand the matter for further consideration. The Exchange proposes to expand the scope of the Board's authority to review proposed decisions of the AAC so that the Board may also sustain, increase or eliminate any penalty imposed, or impose a lesser penalty.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(1), 6(b)(6), and 6(b)(7)  in particular in that it will enhance the ability of the Exchange to enforce compliance by its members and persons associated with its members with the provisions of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Exchange; it will help ensure that members and persons associated with members are appropriately disciplined for violations of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Exchange; and it will provide a fair procedure for the disciplining of members and persons associated with members.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received with respect to the proposed rule change.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:
(A) by order approve such proposed rule change, or
(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed change is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Amex. All submissions should refer to the file number SR-Amex-00-22 and should be submitted by August 23, 2000.Start Signature
For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. Additionally, any member of the AAC has the authority to request a review of an Exchange Disciplinary Panel decision sua sponte.Back to Citation
4. Pursuant to New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) Rule 476(f), NYSE enforcement personnel have the authority to appeal adverse determinations by disciplinary panels and the review boards have the authority to increase penalties imposed by disciplinary panels. Further, National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”) Rule 9311 provides for similar authority.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 00-19503 Filed 8-1-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M