November 5, 2005
Miers’ new role
Finally, reassurance that things will be different in future:
President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.
According to a memo sent to aides Friday, Bush expects all White House staff to adhere to the “spirit as well as the letter” of all ethics laws and rules. As a result, “the White House counsel’s office will conduct a series of presentations next week that will provide refresher lectures on general ethics rules, including the rules of governing the protection of classified information,” according to the memo, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post by a senior White House aide.
… A senior aide said Bush decided to mandate the ethics course during private meetings last weekend with Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and counsel Harriet Miers. Miers’s office will conduct the ethics briefings.
WASHINGTON – Texas officials paid Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers’ family more than $100,000 for a small piece of land in 2000 - 10 times the land’s worth - despite the state’s objections to the way the price was determined, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported Saturday.
The three-member committee that determined the price included Peggy Lundy, a friend of Miers, and property-rights activist Cathie Adams, Knight Ridder reported. They were appointed to the panel by state District Judge David Evans, who had received at least $5,000 in campaign contributions from Miers’ law firm.
… According to Knight Ridder, the land - which was part of a large Superfund pollution cleanup site - was valued at less than 30 cents a square foot. But the panel recommended paying nearly $5 a square foot for it.
The price was later reduced from $106,915 to $80,915, but Miers has yet to return the $26,000 difference to the state, said the story by Jack Douglas Jr. and Stephen Henderson.
Perhaps this will be used as a case-study during the briefings.
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