Little Red Ribbon-Hood: October 2006: Archives

October 16, 2006

Former FDA Chief Lester Crawford To Plead Guilty genre: Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Lester Crawford

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Lester Crawford, has been charged with making false statements and with conflicts-of-interest with regard to stocks he held in companies that were regulated by the administration. Reuters has details of the charges and Fox News is reporting that he will plead guilty on Tuesday.

Thought Theater previously reported on the controversial head of the FDA here and here. Crawford was roundly criticized and his confirmation was blocked due to his extended delays to approve the Plan B contraceptive as well as other accusations of inappropriate behavior while in the position. Many felt that the delays in the approval were politically motivated based upon the Bush administrations opposition to the contraceptive method.

From Reuters:

Crawford held a number of senior posts at the agency, which regulates much of the food supply, medical devices, drugs, vaccines, cosmetics, animal feed and drugs. It is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2003, Crawford headed an FDA obesity study group, which issued recommendations early in 2004 encouraging soda makers to relabel serving sizes of sugary carbonated drinks.

From August 2003 through June 2004, Crawford and his wife owned 1,400 shares of beverage maker PepsiCo Inc. stock worth at least $62,000 and 2,500 shares of food distributor Sysco Corp. stock, worth at least $78,000, according to court documents.

Both companies "had a financial interest" in the obesity group's conclusions and recommendations, prosecutors said.

While at the agency, Crawford also retained stock options in Embrex Inc., an agriculture biotechnology company regulated by the FDA, prosecutors said. Before joining the FDA, Crawford served on the company's board of directors.

In 2003, Crawford exercised an option to buy 2,000 shares of Embrex stock, earning $8,150, prosecutors said. In 2004, he purchased 3,000 shares, earning $20,627.

Crawford joins a long list of disgraced Bush appointees and he is one further reminder to voters of the hypocrisy within the GOP...the party that has used morality and values to garner the support of a large block of evangelical voters. It has become increasingly obvious that many of these discredited appointees and politicians were simply motivated by power and profit far more than by their religious values.

From Fox News:

WASHINGTON — Former FDA chief Lester Crawford will plead guilty for failing to disclose a financial interest in companies his agency regulated, his lawyer said Monday.

Crawford "is going to plead guilty to two misdemeanors tomorrow afternoon and he is going to admit his financial disclosures had errors and omissions, mostly with his wife's continued ownership of stocks," said Crawford's lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder.

"At the end of the day, he owned these stocks and he will admit he owned them while he was at the FDA and he will take responsibility for that," said Van Gelder.

Accused of making a false writing and conflict of interest, Crawford was scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate Tuesday afternoon. Each carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

As we near the November election, I can only hope that voters take the time to evaluate the divide between the actions of the GOP and the rhetoric they have used so effectively for the last decade. Further, when history records the events since the launch of the "Contract with America", one would likely expect that it will be concluded that the Republican Party abused the trust of their constituents and reneged on much of that contract.

Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2006 | 5:16 PM | link | Comments (1)
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