[Ip-health] KEI letter to Steve Ricchetti, asking recusal in matters that involve former clients

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Mar 29 11:21:00 PDT 2012

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1396

KEI letter to Steve Ricchetti, asking recusal in matters that involve
former clients

On March 12, 2012, Tedmund Wan posted a note on Joe Biden's appointment of
Steve Ricchetti [ http://keionline.org/node/1385], exploring potential
conflicts of interest with the licenses in a lobbying firm that he ran. On
March 29, 2012, KEI formally asked Ricchetti to recuse himself in matters
concerning his former clients. The letter follows.

29 March 2012

Steve Ricchetti
Counselor to Vice President Joe Biden
The White House
Washington, DC
Via fax +1.202.456.2461

Dear Mr. Ricchetti,

A Counselor to the Vice President is entrusted with the responsibility to
advise the Vice President, and by extension, the President, on a wide
variety of matters with the highest degree of discretion and impartiality.
Such impartiality is particularly important as various industries spend
millions each year lobbying the White House to enact measures that benefit
private businesses, rather than the public it serves. As members of a
public interest organization that focuses on consumer rights, we were
surprised by your selection by the White House as Counselor to the Vice
President in light of your work as a lobbyist for large pharmaceutical,
medical device, hospital and insurance companies.

We write today to request that you recuse yourself from any matters that
may involve the interest of any of your former clients, or current clients
to Ricchetti, Inc. We are particularly concerned about conflicts of
interest pertaining to intellectual property rights for biomedical
inventions, the pricing and regulation of biomedical inventions, and the
regulation of hospitals and insurance companies.

As an attorney, you are surely aware that concerns about ethics can be
addressed by a decision to recuse yourself in areas where the appearance of
impropriety undermines public confidence in the independence of government
employees. This is particularly important today when elected officials,
including President Obama and Vice President Biden, are routinely raising
large sums of money to finance political campaigns. As you know, your
appointment stimulated a number of critical news reports and commentary,
focusing on your association with the lobbying firm Ricchetti, Inc., and
its clients. A decision to recuse yourself from matters involving its
clients would likely be warmly received by many of those who were critical
of your appointment.

We appreciate your thoughtful consideration in this matter.


James Love Manon Ress Krista Cox Tedmund Wan

Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionoline.org [3]
1621 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009 * Tel
+1.202.332.2670 * Fax +1.202.332.2673

WASHINGTON 1621 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009 /TEL:
+1.202.332.2670 · FAX +1.202.332.2673 GENEVE 1 Route des Morillons, CP
2100, 1211 Genève 2, Switzerland TEL: +41.22.791.6727

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.  Sometimes I am
using my MaxRoam number: +447937390810

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