Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm acknowledged paying $400 in late fees for failing to properly disclose up to $240,000 in stock sales from last year. Her aides previously insisted she had complied with the law.
The about-face comes two weeks after Insider reported that Granholm disclosed nine stock transactions either weeks or months past a 30-day disclosure deadline prescribed by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, and hours after congressional Republicans called for an investigation into her financial transparency.
“This was an inadvertent clerical oversight on reporting stock sales that ethics officials previously determined did not pose a conflict in her role as Energy Secretary and the Secretary paid the late filing fee,” Energy Department spokeswoman Charisma Troiano wrote in an email late Tuesday.
When Insider asked for specifics about the submitted late fees — including requesting a verifiable proof of payment — Troiano initially said she could confirm the payment had been made and directed Insider to “look at the form that was submitted.” When asked what form she was referring to, since no new filings or amendments by Granholm were showing up in the Office of Government Ethics’ online records, Troiano said she didn’t have the document handy and would look into it further.
She later said that one of the designated agency ethics officials at the Department of Energy had confirmed that the late fees on the two reports — Granholm’s filings from December 15, 2021, and December 16, 2021 — had been paid. But no corroborating documentation was ever presented.
“The planet is warming faster than ever, the cost and impact of extreme weather events are intensifying, and yet what some people are spending their time on is a $400 late fee that was already paid on a clerical oversight,” Troiano wrote in a follow-up email late Wednesday.
She added that “DOE and the Secretary remain focused on tackling the existing climate crisis and delivering an equitable clean energy future that will bring cheaper power, cleaner air and good-paying jobs for more Americans.”
Office of Government Ethics staff declined to comment on Granholm’s paying of late fees.
Granholm’s STOCK Act violations follow Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project, which revealed how dozens of federal lawmakers and at least 182 senior-level congressional staffers have violated the STOCK Act, and detailed how conflicts-of-interest abound. Together, they’ve avoided serious consequences.
Read the original story at: https://www.businessinsider.com/energy-secretary-jennifer-granholm-late-fees-stock-act-violation-2022-2