U.S. DOT’s Chao refutes ethics violations
Story by:@ FreightWaves
A Congressional investigation into allegations that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has used her office to benefit her family’s shipping company is being roundly rejected by the transportation chief.
In the first of a “rolling production of responses” to be sent to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Assistant Secretary for Government Affairs Adam Sullivan called the allegations “simply false.”
Sullivan pointed out that even the reporter of a New York Times article that is the basis of the investigation had stated that the article did not assert a connection between Chao and Foremost Shipping Group, a foreign-flagged vessel-owning company started by her father and now headed by her sister Angela.
“Of course, the Secretary is not involved with the management or operations of Foremost Group and has no financial stake in the company,” Sullivan wrote in his September 30 response letter to committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). “Nor does the Department of Transportation regulate, promote or benefit its business financially.”
Cummings’ investigation is also looking into the extent to which Chao was involved in decisions to cut $80 million in supplemental government funding for U.S.-flagged vessels that operate in foreign trades through DOT’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) – cuts he asserted could serve to benefit Foremost Group, which operates foreign-flagged ships exclusively. According to the article in freightwaves.com and its author
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com // iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski