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Monday, September 26, 2005

CREW Files Ethics Complaint Against Sen. Frist; Complaint Alleges Insider Trading and Subsequent Cover-up

9/26/2005 3:32:00 PM

To: National and State Desks

Contact: Naomi Seligman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, 202-588-5565

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against Senate Majority Leader William Frist (R-Tenn.). The complaint alleges that the Senator violated Senate ethics rules by engaging in apparent insider trading and then attempting to cover it up.

This past June, Sen. Frist sold all of his, his wife's and his children's stock in Hospital Corporation of America, (HCA) Inc. shortly before the value of the stock fell sharply. Notably, Sen. Frist's brother sits on HCA's board of directors and other members of the board also sold HCA stock before its value fell. Although Sen. Frist has owned HCA stock since first elected to the Senate in 2000, he now claims that he sold the stock because of a conflict of interest.

Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, stated: "Why did Sen. Frist suddenly decide to sell the stock in June after holding the stock for so long? Also, did the Senator order the sale based on insider knowledge that the value of the stock was about to decline precipitously?"

The complaint asks the Ethics Committee to review Sen. Frist's conduct under the Senate rule allowing the Committee to investigate whenever a senator has engaged in "improper conduct reflecting on the Senate." The Committee is free to investigate such conduct even if it does not amount to a violation of federal laws or regulations.

Sloan stated, "not only has Sen. Frist likely engaged in illegal activity, he has also been attempting to cover up his actions by suddenly finding a conflict of interest that he never before recognized. Sen. Frist would be wise to consider Martha Stewart's case as he continues down this path."

For more information and a copy of the complaint, please visit http://www.citizensforethics.org.


Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit, progressive legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.


© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Posted by Becca

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