FDAers on ‘corrupt’ list

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Two FDA officials and an HHS official who slashed the FDA’s Warning Letter program by 70% early in the Bush administration are in the top four listings in Criminals and Scoundrels: The 25 Most Corrupt Officials of the Bush Administration issued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Heading the alphabetical list is former HHS deputy secretary Claude A. Allen, who directed FDA chief counsel Daniel Troy to review all Warning Letters for legal sufficiency, a process that reduced their volume by 70%.

His CREW citation relates not to his HHS service but to his later arrest and conviction for shoplifting while later working at the White House.

The first FDA official listed is Commissioner’s Office official Margaret “Margo” Burnette, who is under investigation by the House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Committee for alleged conflicts of interest in awarding FDA contracts to Platinum Solutions, headed by her husband.

The second FDAer is former commissioner Lester M. Crawford, who was sentenced in February to three years’ supervised probation and fined $90,000 for lying about stock holdings in regulated companies that he and his wife maintained while he served as the top official at the agency. Crawford and his wife made roughly $39,000 from the illegally held stock.

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