The vote was not binding on Jefferson, but if he refuses, the Democrats would seek a floor vote to force him out.
Have there been similar moves among Republicans against their members similarly implicated in scandals? TPM is asking.
To the list of employees, investors and businesses who suffered financial misfortune in Enron Corp.'s demise, add this one: the law firm defending former chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling.
Los Angeles-based O'Melveny & Myers LLP, which has represented Skilling on both civil and criminal charges since 2001, collected what in a typical case would be a fat payday: $23 million from its client and $17 million more from his insurance policies.
But, true to form, Enron is still destroying financial expectations. Even before the trial began in January, Skilling's team of more than 20 lawyers, paralegals and support staff burned through those funds, leaving the law firm holding the bag for "multiple tens of millions" of dollars in unpaid fees and expenses racked up during the four-month trial, Skilling's lead defense lawyer said. While Daniel M. Petrocelli declined to provide an exact tally, one source put the price tag at more than $25 million on top of the $40 million O'Melveny already collected.
Along with hip-hop and Hollywood movies, Europeans are eagerly importing another American phenomenon: soaring pay packages for chief executives.Investors are resistant. One wonders whether they are concerned about the scandals that have often accompanied monster pay packages.
For decades, Europeans were far more restrained than Americans when it came to rewarding the boss. Now, executives overseas are less inhibited about asking for American-style compensation. And often they are getting their wish.
The pathetic state of Congressional ethics is that such nepotic profiteering is deemed legal so long as the compensation is "consistent with the market rate." Questions have gone unanswered about whether Julie Doolittle [wife of Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.)] has any real experience in the field. Professional fund-raising associations have condemned payment by commission as unethical, but Mr. Doolittle's office defends it as legal and based on "tireless and effective work."Mr. Doolittle offered an amendment to kill all public financing of political campaigns, which raised the ire of the NYT ed board.
In his mega-seller “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell writes, “The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life, is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”Of course!
As the Law Blog suggested last week, Gladwell’s thesis seems to apply to the backdating of options, all the more so with today’s WSJ news that Microsoft once practiced a variation of options backdating.
More than a dozen lawmakers reaped book royalties ranging to millions of dollars last year, according to their annual financial disclosure reports, released yesterday. And when they weren't at their writing desks, some were at gambling tables or lottery kiosks, netting a few thousand dollars from casinos or winning tickets.The question here is whether any of this really means anything. Perhaps it looks bad politically to accept gifts, but is it actually illegal? Perhaps the disconnect between actual illegality and the appearance or suspicion that creates political problems is the result of the rather high bar for official misconduct cases. Should the legal bar be so high? Should the political bar be so low? See, e.g., The Appearance of Impropriety (discussing impact of appearance standards compared with substantive standards regulating ethical behavior) (co-authored by Instapundit).
Meanwhile, scores of House and Senate members and their spouses traveled the world as guests of think tanks and corporations, even though recent lobbying scandals have prompted some to curb their wanderlust.
Richard A. Grasso, the former chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, faced questions from federal regulators about whether he prodded traders to support the American International Group's share price while he was head of the exchange and its regulatory unit, government documents released yesterday disclosed.
During Mr. Grasso's deposition, given before the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2005, he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, in spite of warnings from S.E.C. lawyers that doing so could be used against him in a civil case.
A squad of fraudbusters is monitoring senior managers at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) after an employee perpetrated the biggest fraud in Scottish legal history.
The 15-strong team has been appointed to work full-time to prevent any repeat of the Donald MacKenzie case, where £21m disappeared in a maze of fake loan accounts.
MacKenzie, 45, from Edinburgh, is facing a lengthy jail term after setting up the fake accounts and then shifting money between them to cover up his tracks.
Around £10m is still missing and some of that may never be recovered.
The fraud was discovered by chance as a result of a major IT upgrade. RBS insiders admit the firm - the UK's second-biggest bank - has been severely embarrassed by the case and is determined to stop it happening again.
In court papers, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it would give interested parties 60 days to file comments about the rule, which requires fund boards to have independent chairmen. The rule also requires 75% of a fund's board to have no ties to management.
Passed by the SEC for the second time last June, the rule has been challenged in federal court by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business trade group. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed it back to the SEC in April after ruling the agency didn't allow comment on the estimated costs of complying with the rule.
White-collar defense lawyer Nancy Luque's long been known for tenaciously representing controversial clients such as convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and, more recently, former Washington Teachers' Union official Gwendolyn Hemphill.See also WSJ Law Blog.
Though that fervor has won her acclaim from clients, it recently came back to haunt Luque, who not long ago was appointed co-chair of the white-collar practice at the D.C. office of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.
Six DLA Piper support staffers lodged a formal grievance with D.C. managing partner Ann Ford on April 24, citing Luque's "erratic, unpredictable and turbulent behavior" as making them uncomfortable and creating "a hostile work environment," according to a copy of the letter obtained by Legal Times.
A U.S. House panel will hold a hearing on a report that the Federal Emergency Management Agency paid out as much as $1.4 billion in hurricane disaster assistance for expenditures such as massages and vacations.See also NYT (discussing the GAO report); WaPo.
The improper payments, which the Governmental Accountability Office report estimated ranged from $600 million to $1.4 billion, included funds sent to people who used United Parcel Service stores, post-office boxes and cemeteries as their addresses. FEMA also provided millions of dollars of housing aid to prison inmates, the GAO says in the report.
Ms. [Olga] Rutterschmidt, 73, and another woman, Helen Golay, 75, pleaded not guilty last week to federal charges of mail fraud and submitting false insurance applications. According to the authorities, the two women extended helping hands to two homeless men, getting them off the streets and putting them up in apartments, while at the same time plotting their deaths.
Posing as aunts, fiancées or cousins, they took out numerous life insurance policies on the men, Paul Vados and Kenneth McDavid, with themselves as the beneficiaries, collecting over $2.2 million after the men died in separate hit-and-run traffic cases, the authorities said.
One Nevada judge was nearly indicted on blackmail charges. Another ruled repeatedly for a casino corporation in which he held more than 10,000 shares. Still another overruled state authorities and decided in favor of a gambling boss who was notorious as a mob frontman, and whose casino did the judge a $2,800 favor.Sheesh. See also WSJ Law Blog.
Yet the Nevada Supreme Court has conferred upon these judges a special distinction that exempts them from some of the common rules of judicial practice and reduces their accountability. They are among 17 state judges whom the high court has commissioned as senior judges.