Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm slapped with ethics complaint over husband’s Ford stock

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm slapped with ethics complaint over husband’s Ford stock

  • July 12, 2023

EXCLUSIVE — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is facing an ethics complaint over “conflict of interest” concerns from a watchdog group related to her husband’s prior stock holdings in an auto manufacturer.

Republican lawmakers have demanded the Energy Department launch investigations after Granholm’s June admission to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that her husband, David Mulhern, owned Ford stock, despite the Biden administration approving electric vehicle subsidies that will likely benefit the company. Now, the right-leaning watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust is alleging in a Wednesday complaint to the department that the secretary engaged in a “blatant violation of her ethics obligations” while being involved in matters related to Ford, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“Secretary Granholm is an experienced, sophisticated government official who understands her legal and ethical obligations,” Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain said. “Her participation in matters involving Ford Motor Company while her husband owned stock in the company would represent a blatant violation of her ethics obligations.”

Chamberlain told the Washington Examiner the department’s inspector general should immediately investigate the matter, adding it’s “precisely the type of episode that has led to the American public’s trust in its government having all but disappeared.”

Protect the Public’s Trust previously called on the Energy Department to investigate whether Granholm violated federal law by purportedly using her official role to boost Proterra, an electric vehicle manufacturing company that counted her as a board member prior to the secretary’s February 2021 confirmation. Granholm sold 240,000 shares in Proterra for $1.6 million in May 2021 after Republicans and watchdogs raised conflict of interest concerns, records show.

Read more