Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Conflicts Allegations Making News

  • "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White is facing pressure to recuse herself from picking the next head of the regulator that polices accountants because of a potential conflict with her husband’s legal work."
  • "The Center for Effective Government, an advocacy group, said White should step aside because her husband, John White, sits on an official advisory group to the audit board. While the position is unpaid, it gives John White regular access to top PCAOB officials. His law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, highlights the role in marketing materials."
  • "'The White family has to deal with this conflict,' said Jeff Hauser, who runs the Revolving Door Project at the Washington-based center that promotes government transparency and accountability. 'It makes Mary Jo White’s role choosing PCAOB officials problematic.'"
  • "The issue of potential conflicts between SEC Chair White and her husband’s law practice isn’t new. When Mary Jo White became head of the agency in 2013, John White stepped down as an equity partner at Cravath in an effort to minimize potential problems."
"Problems at United Airlines may stall GWB probe" --
  • "Turmoil at one of the largest airlines in the world, United Continental Holdings, could jam up a legislative investigation into the George Washington Bridge scandal and a $1.5 billion plan to add rail service between lower Manhattan and Newark Airport."
  • "The law firm hired by the Legislature to investigate the bridge scandal has warned that its work could come to a premature end because another client is facing scrutiny from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, according to a letter obtained by The Record on Thursday."
  • "Lawyers for Jenner & Block, the prominent firm retained last year by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, carried out a separate internal investigation for United. Their findings, which the airline did not disclose, led to the resignations of Chief Executive Jeff Smisek and two vice presidents this week."
  • "After being apprised by Jenner & Block of the potential for a conflict of interest stemming from the two matters, legislative leaders chose to keep the law firm on retainer earlier this year, according to the letter."
  • "The firm 'erected an ethical wall' to separate the two matters, and no attorneys involved in one case would participate in the other or share information, Schar said."

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