Ex-top Biden official Marcia Fudge spins through revolving door and brings two aides with her

Ex-top Biden official Marcia Fudge spins through revolving door and brings two aides with her

  • May 14, 2024

Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner

Ex-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, who resigned a few months ago, has spun through the revolving door and scored a key public policy role at a law firm lobbying the Biden administration.

Fudge, a former longtime Democratic Ohio congresswoman who joined HUD in 2021 and soon after violated a federal law barring federal officials from engaging in political activities, is now a partner and the public policy chairwoman at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the firm said Monday. The firm, which pulled in $598 million in revenue last year and has offices in the Midwest and Washington, D.C., also scooped up Imani Edwards and Garrett McDaniel, who worked as staffers under Fudge at HUD.

Fudge, according to a Biden White House ethics pledge rule, is barred for two years from communicating with HUD employees and for one year from certain indirect “shadow” lobbying. The pledge, like others authorized by administrations, aims to thwart apparent conflicts of interest arising from officials working on issues they also worked on in the government.

But to watchdog groups, there’s always fair conflict of interest concerns for the public to have about federal officials heading to the private sector, particularly in the case of Fudge’s uniquely quick move. Taft Stettinius & Hollister lobbied HUD last year, in addition to the departments of Defense, Transportation, Homeland Security, and other agencies, according to government records.

“The revolving door has never spun faster, and now it’s capacious enough to deposit a former HUD secretary and two of her senior aides at a well-known ‘influence shop’ within just a few months of her leaving the administration,” Director Michael Chamberlain of Protect the Public’s Trust said.

“I feel for agency ethics officials trying to ensure no post-government ethics laws are broken. Rather than bolstering the public’s evaporating trust in its government, incidents like these demonstrate that the American public needs to be more vigilant than ever in watching for conflicts, ethical issues, and the influence of special interests,” Chamberlain added.

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