February 27, 2013
After years of resisting all criticisms of its operations, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is finally listening - a little. It spent $700,000 for an outside, high-level review that complimented the stem cell agency for funding an excellent portfolio of research projects, but also raised serious objections to the agency's structure, which the review said was likely to lead to financial conflicts of interest. The criticisms were nothing new - many of the same points have been made since the agency was created by Proposition 71 in 2004 - but the positive response by the chairman of the agency's board was. The governing board is now making changes to address some of the long-standing issues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2013 |
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez lodged a complaint with the Ethics Commission this week alleging his opponent, Eric Garcetti, had a financial conflict of interest when he signed off on a lucrative deal with a billboard company. Garcetti, a city councilman, voted in 2006 for a legal settlement that allowed Clear Channel Outdoor to convert hundreds of billboards to a digital format. At the same time, he held stock in Clear Channel Communications, the billboard company's parent.
February 18, 2013 |
NEW YORK - As a lawyer in private practice, Mary Jo White worked for Wall Street all-stars: banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co., auditor Deloitte & Touche, former Bank of America Corp. chief Ken Lewis. White, President Obama's pick to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, even did legal work for former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta, the highest-profile catch in the federal government's crackdown on insider trading, according to disclosures White filed ahead of her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.
January 29, 2013 |
Compromise, defined as the art of getting part of a loaf when the whole loaf is out of reach, comes in many forms. But surely the strangest of all is what comes of trying to compromise with yourself. That's what California's stem cell agency is attempting to do. And judging from its record of pioneering new ways of funding and managing scientific research, you can rest assured that the results will be fraught with interest. What's at issue is how the agency's board wrestles with recommendations for changes in its membership and its authority over the spending of its $3-billion endowment in state bond funds (that's $6 billion, including interest)
December 7, 2012 |
The board of California's stem cell funding agency is rife with conflicts of interest and should be restructured to improve the integrity of its grant-making process, according to a new report from independent experts convened by the national Institute of Medicine. The committee found that "far too many" of the board members are from organizations that stand to benefit from the $3 billion the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is supposed to dole out to researchers over 10 years.
August 24, 2012 |
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has asked the state attorney general to investigate whether conflict-of-interest laws were broken at one of the state's biggest issuers of municipal debt. Lockyer's request follows the release of a report by the State Audits Bureau that said the compensation arrangements at the California Statewide Communities Development Authority raise concerns about possible violations of the Political Reform Act. The law prohibits public officials from making, participating in or influencing decisions that affect them financially.