Monday, April 23, 2007
The controversy regarding the "firing" of the U.S. Attorneys, and the role played by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales remains in the news. The Washington Post, for example, reports that President Bush continues to support the Attorney General. This same article, however, spends time discussing comments by Senate members on the benefits of replacing Gonzales.
Initially this entire matter was a front page story. It then moved to page two. Now we are finding this article on page three of the Washington Post. But this less visible placement may be a function of the competing news in recent days.
The Securities Exchange Commission issued a release today stating that an order had been entered that "permanently bars Scrushy from serving as an officer or director of a public company, permanently enjoins Scrushy from committing future violations of the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws, and requires Scrushy to pay $81 million in disgorgement and civil penalties." The Wall Street Jrl provides some details here.
But Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth, was also in the news about his recent travels and possible future ones. Alabama.com reports that Scrushy has to wear a electronic monitor on his ankle. The article also discusses some disputes over his travel restrictions.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
With more pressing news, and with his testimony over, one would expect that Gonzales would no longer be a press item. But that is hardly the case - although he does appear to have moved from page one to page two of the Washington Post. The Wash Post reports here that Senator Arlen Specter thinks Gonzales hurts the DOJ, but the paper also says that Specter isn't "directly" calling for him to resign. The New York Times story is here. So....
Nelnet, a student loan provider, issued a press release stating that "[t]hrough a voluntary letter of agreement with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, Nelnet pledges to adopt the Nelnet Student Loan Code of Conduct, post a copy of a review of the company’s business practices on its Web site, and commit $1 million to help educate students and families on how to plan and pay for their education." (See also Wall Street Jrl here) The Code of Conduct, which may likely become a model for the rest of the industry, has ten points. The headings of each of these points are:
I. Prohibition of Certain Remuneration to Institutions of Higher Education / Revenue Sharing Prohibition
II. Prohibition of Certain Remuneration to Higher Education Employees / Gift and Trip Prohibition
III. Limitations on Lender Advisory Boards / Advisory Board Compensation Rules
IV. Limitations on Staffing of Financial Aid Offices
V. Prohibition on Use of Opportunity Loans
VI. Maintenance of Borrower Benefits
VII. Full Disclosure of Sales of Loans to Another Lender
VIII. Disclosure at the Request of Institutions of Higher Education
IX. Private Education loans
X. Preferred Lender Lists
The press release emphasizes that there was self disclosure in this case.
John Emshwiller has a fascinating piece titled, "'Benron' Behind Bars" that looks at Ben Glisan Jr's life of cooperation and prison. Although not the focus of this piece, it is interesting to note that the risk and cost of trial weigh heavily in the decision to plea. Glisan, like Martha Stewart realized the value of "getting it over with," and "moving on." But is that the way the justice system is supposed to work?