Thursday, May 26, 2005
A former employee of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana will be pleading guilty to "willfully engaging in a conflict of interest, a felony violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 208(a) and 216(a)(2)." According to a press release of the criminal division, the individual who will plead guilty to a criminal information "worked as the Coordinator for the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (“LECC”) Program of the U.S. Attorney’s Office."
The former employee of the U.S. Attorney's Office was alleged to have been "negotiating with a Government vendor, PHI Investigative Consultants (“PHI”), to give periodic LECC-sponsored training seminars for the Middle District of Louisiana and other United States Attorneys’ Offices. At the same time, he arranged for PHI to hire his wife to plan and coordinate all seminars that PHI conducted. His wife then began operating a business doing seminar planning and coordination work for PHI between 2000-2002." The bottom line is the charges describe a conflict of interest that permitted the accused to benefit financially.
One has to applaud the local US Attorney's Office as it recused itself from the matter and it was sent to D.C. for the Inspector General to oversee.
But it appears that key dates in the press release imply that the conduct occurred between 1999 -2002. Questions - Did the US Attorney's Office have an "effective program" to comply with the law? Would the result in this case be the same if this was a corporation that had an individual employee who violated the law?