HHS Office of Inspector General To Investigate Allegations Against FDA Commissioner Nominee Lester Crawford
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Friday referred to the HHS Office of Inspector General an investigation into allegations made by an anonymous FDA employee about Lester Crawford, acting commissioner of the agency and nominee for permanent commissioner, the Washington Post reports (Kaufman, Washington Post, 4/18).
Committee Chair Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) on Thursday confirmed that he had received a letter from an anonymous FDA employee that included allegations about Crawford. According to congressional staff members, the letter included allegations about a "personal relationship" between Crawford and a senior female FDA staff member and raised questions about "significant promotions" that the woman received. Enzi did not provide additional details about the allegations but said that the letter is "badly spelled and badly written" and that he thinks the allegations are false (California Healthline, 4/15).
Enzi had referred the investigation of the allegations to the FDA Office of Internal Affairs, but "it became obvious it should be the Inspector General's office" after HHS attorneys reviewed the allegations, according to department Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Kevin Keane. He added that the allegations are "completely false" and that Crawford will cooperate with the HHS OIG investigation (CQ HealthBeat, 4/15).
Judy Holtz, a spokesperson for HHS OIG, said that she could not predict when the office would conclude the investigation (Washington Post, 4/18). Enzi said that the committee will vote on the Crawford nomination within the next two weeks (CQ HealthBeat, 4/15).