An ethics watchdog organization asked the U.S. Department of Energy Inspector General to investigate President Joe Biden’s Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, for allegedly violating federal conflict of interest law.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust’s (FACT) request to the Inspector General comes after reports that Granholm failed to properly disclose nine stock trades worth up to a quarter of a million dollars, violating the STOCK Act.
Executive branch officials must disclose trades worth more than $1,000 within 30 days of the transaction.
The complaint said:
In the present case, Secretary Granholm made nine stock trades between April 30 and October 26, 2021.6 However, she did not disclose those to the Office of Government Ethics until December 15 and 16, 2021—either weeks or months past the 30-day disclosure deadline required under federal law.
In addition to Uber and real estate company Redfin, the complaint calls attention to Granholm’s sale of shares in Gilead Sciences Inc., a major government contractor and developer of the remdesivir treatment for the coronavirus.
Congress passed the STOCK Act in 2012 after Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer released Throw Them All Out, which exposed corruption among political officials.
FACT executive director Kendra Arnold said:
As exemplified here, a government official’s failure to comply with the most basic ethics rules leads to public distrust in our government. Secretary Granholm should not be exempt from the consequences of violating federal law and she owes the public an explanation for failing to comply with the law. We request the Inspector General immediately investigate and implement the proper penalties and consequences for these violations.
Granholm was recently at the center of controversy for her involvement in the electric vehicle company Proterra. Granholm sat on Proterra’s board and held over one million dollars worth of company stock before ultimately selling months after her confirmation as Energy Secretary.
While serving as Biden’s energy secretary, Granholm promoted the company, which critics argued increased Proterra’s stock value due to visibility from a cabinet member.