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15 groups urge Energy secretary to resign over alleged ethics violations

 August 16, 2023

A coalition of 15 nonprofit organizations committed to upholding integrity in government has addressed a letter to President Joe Biden, insisting on the immediate resignation of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

The request stems from Granholm's supposed continual dismissal of her ethical obligations and repeated alleged violations of federal ethics laws, as Daily Wire reported.

The group's letter to the president highlighted not only Granholm's own actions but also what they describe as the ethical failures and legal missteps of her subordinates, which they attribute to her poor leadership example.

A History of Controversies: Stock Options and Disclosure Missteps

Some of the first ethical concerns related to Granholm arose in 2021, shortly after she assumed the role of Energy secretary, having previously served as governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011.

Controversy surrounded Granholm's continued ownership of stock options in electric bus company Proterra during her initial months as a Biden cabinet member.

Despite holding stock options in Proterra, where she had previously served on the board, the administration actively promoted the company.

Granholm eventually sold her stock for $1.6 million just before an ethics deadline and managed to defer paying capital gains taxes on the sale, Politico reported.

Furthermore, Granholm faced criticism for failing to disclose up to $240,000 in stock sales in 2021, leading to a $400 late fee.

Although initially denying any wrongdoing, her aides later referred to the issue as an "inadvertent clerical oversight."

Last month, additional concerns were raised when Granholm acknowledged that her husband owned Ford Motor Company shares, which she had not previously disclosed, the Washington Examiner reported.

This revelation coincided with a promotional video featuring Granholm riding an electric Ford Mustang, igniting concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

Further Issues: Hatch Act Violation and Public Trust

Apart from stock-related controversies, Granholm was also accused of violating the Hatch Act, a law restricting federal employees' political speech.

This allegation was supported by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, although officials there decided not to discipline her.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, summarized the situation by suggesting that Granholm was either "incompetent or lying," particularly concerning Ford, "a company that squarely falls under her authority."

The group's letter to President Biden concluded by expressing concerns about the administration's accountability and responsibility, particularly in regard to ethical oversight.

The letter reads, "Since Ms. Granholm’s responses to these allegations have often relied on some variation of ‘it wasn’t my fault,’ this has left the American public wondering where exactly the buck stops in your administration."

The 15 nonprofits pressing for Granholm's resignation include well-known organizations like the 60 Plus Association, the American Accountability Foundation, the Conservative Caucus, and the Heartland Institute, among others.