Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.
So said Melanie Sloan, the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, in an interview this morning. Sloan said she did not recall the statement given to the Sun's Marshall Allen, paraphrased in the last sentence of this piece and latched onto by Team Berkley:
And while she said Berkley likely did not technically violate ethics rules, she decried those rules as "weak" and said the rules also stipulate avoiding the appearance of a conflict. "She should have stayed out of it for that reason alone," Sloan said, referring to issues that could have affected her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner. "This is a clear appearance problem, and she shouldn't have done it," Sloan said.
Sloan said after reading the New York Times story, "I'm a little bit mixed on it. I don't think it's good; there's some real problems there. But it (UMC) is the only transplant center."
Sloan said she would like to see where Berkley ranks in contributions from the renal doctors' PAC, but added, "It's clear her husband is having an impact on what she's doing."