Head of U.S. government ethics office resigns

The director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter M. Shaub Jr., announced Thursday that he will resign his post.
By Delila James | Jul 08, 2017
The director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter M. Shaub Jr., announced Thursday that he will resign his post. Shaub repeatedly has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest within the Trump administration.

"There isn't much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation," said Shaub, in a report by The New York Times. "O.G.E.'s recent experiences have made it clear that the ethics program needs to be strengthened."

Shaub, an Obama appointee whose five-year term was set to expire in January, denied being pressured to resign. But in light of his frequent clashes with the White House, his position always remained uncertain.

Shortly after President Trump's election victory, Shaub advised that he divest himself of his mega-business empire and personal holdings. In February, he recommended disciplinary action be taken against Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway after she plugged Ivanka Trump's clothing line on air. The White House declined to take Shaub's advice.

Recently, however, Shaub was able to force a reluctant White House to release copies of ethics waivers issued to White House appointees.

Some people expressed concern that Shaub's departure will usher in a Trump appointee who is willing to overlook ethical violations.

"I don't think anyone who comes after Walter is going to challenge the White House publicly the way that I think he did," said Richard W. Painter, a former ethics counselor for President George W. Bush, in the Times report. "It is a great loss."

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