Former FDA Chief to plead guilty

Lester Crawford, who was nominated by President Bush to head the FDA in Febrary of 2005 and abruptly resigned in September of that year, is set to plead guilty for failing to disclose stock holdings that presented a conflict of interest. He was receiving income from stock options in Embrex Inc., a biotech company on whose board of directors he used to sit, which is regulated by the FDA, and had stock holdings with Pepsico Inc. and food group Sysco Corp. while he chaired the FDA's Obesity Working Group, which made decisions affecting food and drink manufacturers.

At the time of Crawford's resignation, he gave no reason for his sudden departure, and it was surmised that it had to do with reports he "declined to cooperate with an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office into the [FDA's] controversial decision to reject nonprescription sales" of the emergency contraceptive Plan B. But no. Just a plain old run-of-the-mill stock scandal.

You know, I'm starting to think that Bush doesn't choose the best people for high-level jobs in his administration...

(Via Memeorandum)


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