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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm violated securities disclosure laws 9 times


Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm poses a question during a media briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 23, 2021.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

WASHINGTON – Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm violated the STOCK Act at least nine times last year, selling shares worth up to $240,000 and failing to disclose those sales within 45 date required by 2012 law.

Granholm stock sale dates ranged from April to late October, according to federal disclosure documents first reported by Business Insider. But Granholm didn’t disclose any of them until mid-December, in some cases six months after the deadline for reporting the sale had passed.

Granholm filed his two disclosures on December 15th and December 16th, disclosed a total of nine stock sales, some of which date back to April of last year.

The transactions included shares of real estate website Redfin worth between $16,000 and $75,000, Granholm revealed.

She also sold shares in ride-hailing company Uber worth up to $50,000, and financial services giant Invesco, also worth up to $50,000.

The HOUSE Act extends accountability and reporting requirements to financial holdings, to both members of Congress and senior staff of the Executive Branch such as Granholm.

Standard trading forms such as those submitted by Granholm specifically state that securities transactions must be reported no later than 45 days after the transaction itself. However, the form also says that profilers must disclose their transactions within 30 days of “receiving notice” about them.

Granholm checked a box on her December form claiming it was less than 30 days since she was notified of the transactions. So it looks like she’s complying with part of the form, but violating the actual deadline itself.

Public figures and elected officials often turn over the management of their portfolios to outside advisors who make buying and selling decisions for them. However, a statement of ignorance about a securities transaction is not a valid excuse for a violation of the Securities Act.

In response to questions on Thursday, an energy department spokesman told CNBC, “The Department of Energy’s Office of Ethics has certified that based on her reports, the State’s financial holdings Chief Granholm is abiding by the law.”

She did not respond to questions about why the disclosure was so late, or when the secretary was notified of the transactions.

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Also surprising is that Granholm was only notified of the sale of this stock at the end of November or December, according to her disclosure form, since Granholm sold other shares during the same time period to eliminate any any potential conflicts of interest.

When President Joe Biden nominated her to be his energy secretary, Granholm signed a detailed Ethics Agreement in which she agreed to give up part-time jobs at the University of California and at CNN, resigning one day at a time. number of boards and sell millions of dollars worth of Shares.

On March 22, she reported 23 stock sales, many of which were blue chip companies in which she had more than $10,000 in stock.

A few months later in May, Granholm filed additional trading reports detailing how she exercised stock options in electric bus and battery company Proterra and subsequently sold all of her stock, valued at $1. million to $5 million, on May 24.

But between the blue chip sale in March and the Proterra sale in May, Granholm made six of the nine stock sales that were undisclosed through December.

News of Granholm’s apparent violations comes at a time when the sale of shares by state officials and members of Congress is taking a fresh look.

Over the past week, several members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have enacted or reimposed legislation that prohibits lawmakers and their immediate family members from actively trading stocks when incumbent member.

Last year alone, a total of 54 members of Congress violated the rules of the STOCK Act, according to an analysis by Business Insider’s Dave Levinthal published earlier this month.

There are growing signs that the public also supports the ban. ONE Recent survey commissioned by a conservative advocate found that 76% of voters believe legislators and their spouses have an “unfair advantage” in the stock market.

The same survey, conducted by the Treaty of Action States, also found that only 5% of voters are likely to approve of members of Congress trading stocks.

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