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What is a conflict of interest?

Tom Fox | February 4, 2018

Sometimes The Man From FCPA wonders if public figures lose all common sense when they step into public service. Exhibit A (this week) is that of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the now former head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC is the United States’ leading public health institute. The conflict of interest to her resignation was her investment in tobacco stocks after she became director of the CDC.

Fitzgerald claimed the purchases were made by a third-party investment advisor. Note this was not a blind trust that you might think a senior political official but her family’s regular investment advisor. For some reason after Dr. Fitzgerald found out about the investment, she was unable to extricate herself from it. Perhaps the family investment advisor was not aware Dr. Fitzgerald had been appointed as the Director of the CDC but even if the advisor was not aware, they were certainly after Dr. Fitzgerald was a medical physician. One might have assumed a Doctor...

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