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Sullivan Withdraws Bid for School Pay

February 05, 1989|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Cabinet nominee Louis W. Sullivan said Saturday he would take an unpaid leave of absence from his medical school while serving as health and human services secretary to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

Sullivan, president of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, had wanted to maintain his ties to the school with a paid leave, but he withdrew the request after the White House raised questions about the arrangement. Sullivan earns about $170,000 a year from Morehouse, it was learned.

The arrangement is designed to avoid any conflict of interest that could arise because Morehouse gets federal funds for its programs. In fiscal 1988, the school received $5.8 million from HHS.

Federal ethics officials had indicated last week that Sullivan would be able to receive payments from the school while serving at HHS.

Sabbatical Leave

Morehouse, like many academic institutions, gives its faculty paid sabbatical leaves based on years of service. The New York Times, in Saturday's editions, quoted a friend of Sullivan's as saying the nominee had accrued about $300,000 worth of sabbatical leave.

But Sullivan said in a written statement: "President Bush has called on all of those in his Cabinet . . . to set the very highest ethical standards and to avoid even the appearance of potential conflicts of interest. I agree emphatically with the President."

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