WASHINGTON — Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has told the White House he no longer wishes to be considered as a replacement for ousted FBI Director James Comey, saying the wanted to avoid the “appearance of a conflict of interest.”
The House speaker is an AFSCME employee. A freshman senator used to lobby for a water company. Neither is barred by Connecticut’s narrowly drawn ethics rules from using their elected positions to advocate for their employers. In a state with a part-time, citizen legislature, almost anything goes so long as elected officials or their families don’t end up with money in their pockets as the direct result of legislative action.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chris Murphy will introduce Scott Gottlieb, a Westport resident and candidate to head the Food and Drug Administration, to fellow members of the Senate panel that’s key to his confirmation – but that won’t keep the nominee from having a bit of a rough ride among Democrats.
The Office of State Ethics is taking the rare step of seeking authority to subpoena personal financial information that Insurance Commissioner Katherine L. Wade has failed to provide the lawyer responsible for determining if Wade has a conflict of interest ruling on the merger of Anthem and Cigna. Wade’s lawyer says she has been responsive and suggests the conflict question is moot, because the state’s review is suspended until a federal anti-trust suit is resolved.
Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo publicly urged Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade on Thursday to recuse herself from Connecticut’s review of the Anthem-Cigna merger, saying even a positive legal ruling from ethics officials would not overcome the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Connecticut ethics officials will consider a petition filed by Common Cause late Monday that asks them to rule on whether Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade’s ties to her former employer, Cigna, require her to recuse herself from reviewing a proposed merger of Cigna and Anthem. The Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board will vote Thursday on whether a review will be done.
While Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade, a former Cigna in-house lobbyist, said she won’t recuse herself from involvement in the $54-billion merger between Cigna and Anthem, the issue has not been settled by the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, which is still in discussions with her about the situation.