Ashcroft's pizza party for Justice staff raises ethics concern
A pizza party being hosted by former Attorney General John Ashcroft has raised ethical concerns inside the Justice Department, according to an article in US News and World Report.
According to US News reporter Chitra Ragavan, the pizza party is being hosted by Ashcroft Group, LLC, the consulting firm founded by Ashcroft after he resigned from the Bush administration in 2004. The event will see Ashcroft playing host to political appointees who served alongside him in the Bush Justice Department.
The Justice Department Ethics Office has expressed its concerns about possible impropriety associated with the gathering. Ragavan reports that, while not instructing the employees to steer clear of the pizza party, the Ethics Office has said they should "consider the appearance of attending such an event."
The DOJ ethics watchdog also advised the invitees that "if they attend the Ashcroft pizza luncheon, it would 'count toward the $20/occasion and $50/year limits'" set by the Department.
According to Ragavan, the Justice Department would not say why this particular event had raised ethical concerns.
The Ashcroft Group advises clients on "navigating the homeland security and law enforcement marketplace...as well as crisis management and dealing with government investigations, high-stakes litigation, and financial distress or bankruptcy," according to the US News report. The firm's website shows that many of its employees are former Justice Department staff.
Ragavan's full story can be accessed at the US News website.