Former FDA Head Under Investigation

Geez, is there anyone in Washington who isn’t corrupt? Lester Crawford is being investigated for financial improprieties and lying to Congress. His lawyer says she has advised him to invoke the Fifth Amendment if he is asked about his actions as head of the FDA.

Crawford resigned in September, two months after the Senate confirmed him, saying it was time for someone else to lead the agency. He had been acting commissioner for more than a year.

A month before he resigned, Crawford sold more than $50,000 in shares in a company regulated by the agency, according to financial disclosure forms obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. He has since joined a Washington lobbying firm, Policy Directions Inc.

The criminal investigation was disclosed at a court hearing in a lawsuit over the FDA’s actions on emergency contraceptive pills, a subject of dispute during Crawford’s tenure….

…Crawford was scheduled to be questioned under oath on Thursday, but on Wednesday Van Gelder, his personal lawyer, sought a delay, saying she would instruct him to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, the Times reported. Crawford previously declined to answer questions from the Government Accountability Office about Plan B….

…Before Crawford’s confirmation, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt promised the FDA would act on the Plan B application by September 2005, which led Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to lift their hold on Crawford’s nomination. But after he was confirmed, Crawford postponed indefinitely any decision on Plan B.

How interesting. Why would this guy be afraid to answer questions about his stalling on Plan B? Could the “financial improprieties” be bribes? There’s not a lot of information out there right now, but it does make one wonder. Supposedly, the FDA was all concerned about the health implications of over-the-counter sales and, mostly, the fear that women might be able to prevent pregnancy after the fact without getting the third degree. Was there something other than right-wing pressure at work here?

2 Responses to “Former FDA Head Under Investigation”

  1. Renee says:

    Oh, my! Things have been smelling fishy at the FDA for a while now. Maybe the whale has been harpooned, and we can finally get a straight answer as to why over the counter Plan B has been so long delayed. This has gone on way too long.

  2. Kathy says:

    We can hope, anyway. It may take a new Administration to turn around the anti-science bias in Washington.

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