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Gale Norton’s departure from Shell Oil

“Ms. Norton was under investigation because there was (and still is) the ‘stench’ of corruption in the air regarding her conduct as DoI Secretary and the awarding of leases to Shell, followed by her eventual employment with Shell. Her departure from Shell indicates that Shell had no ‘further’ need for her services, and that she was a PR liability, if not a legal liability.”

John,

I read your article regarding Gale Norton’s lashing out at the investigation of her conduct in taking the job with RD Shell after leaving DoI.

Federal employees are all given ‘civilian’ employment ‘ethics’ counseling prior to exiting Federal Service. Furthermore, such counseling service is available for those who have exited and who might want take a position with a company where there might be a ‘conflict’, real or perceived.  These services were available to Ms. Norton from the DoI General Counsel’s office, or Inspector General’s Office, I am certain, and perhaps the Dept. of Justice as well. She could have availed herself of these services and sought an ‘official’ opinion from US government attorneys regarding employment with RD Shell.

I see no mention that Ms. Norton availed herself of the opportunity to seek such an opinion. I am certain that government attorneys would NOT have found that to be ‘ethical’, etc., and I presume that Ms. Norton was aware of this as well.

Ms. Norton was under investigation because there was (and still is) the ‘stench’ of corruption in the air regarding her conduct as DoI Secretary and the awarding of leases to Shell, followed by her eventual employment with Shell. Her departure from Shell indicates that Shell had no ‘further’ need for her services, and that she was a PR liability, if not a legal liability.

Taxpayers money was not wasted. That investigation serves notice to others who would seek to use their position as a political employee improperly to gain lucrative employment in the private sector after leaving government service that conduct which simply has the ‘appearance’ of impropriety will be investigated. That is, in and of itself, a strong deterrent to willful misconduct on the part of high officials.

I have no sympathy for Ms. Norton. She brought ordeal this on herself.

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