Top S&L; Regulator in California Steps Down

William J. Crawford, commissioner of the California Department of Savings and Loan, has officially retired from the post.

Crawford, who turned 70 on Monday, indicated in February that he planned to retire from the job, which he held for five years. The Newport Beach resident has also made it clear that he would like to be succeeded by his chief deputy, William D. Davis, 53, of Villa Park. Davis will serve as acting commissioner until Gov. George Deukmejian names a successor.

The blunt-talking Crawford, who operated two S&Ls; before selling them, became known nationally during various hearings on the collapse of Lincoln Savings & Loan in Irvine. Crawford was especially outspoken in his criticism of Lincoln’s former owner, Charles H. Keating Jr., whom he once described as a “con man” during a state Assembly hearing.