(Las Vegas, NV) – Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley told Jon Ralston during a June 25, 2012 interview that a conflict of interest “did not occur” to her. But in an interview this past Saturday, September 1, 2012, Shelley Berkley claims her staff did contact the House Ethics Committee about a potential conflict of interest. Apparently, she claims she just does not know how the House Ethics Committee responded.
What Shelley Berkley said in June:
· Jon Ralston: “You wrote two letters to regulators…you don’t think it could be seen by some people…that you were pursuing a narrow financial interest?”
· Shelley Berkley: “NO. Number one there are millions of kidney patients throughout the United States…would I have really stood back and do nothing when I knew that there was a possibility that the only kidney transplant program in the entire state of Nevada was going to be closed?”
· Jon Ralston: “Have you thought about it enough…?”
· Shelley Berkley: “I wasn’t thinking about the politics of it and I wasn’t worried about the politics.”
· Jon Ralston: “This isn’t politics. This is the financial benefit side of it.”
· Shelley Berkley: “IT DID NOT OCCUR TO ME. My only concern was to provide good health care in the state of Nevada for the people that live here. That’s it.”
Source: Jon Ralston, Face to Face, June 25, 2012. Guest: Shelley Berkley; http://www.lasvegassun.com/videos/face-face/
But according to Shelley Berkley’s interview on PoliticsNow with Steve Sebelius, apparently it did occur to Shelley Berkley, or at least someone in her office.
· Steve Sebelius: “Before you advocated on that…did you contact the House Ethics office and ask them is it appropriate, is it ok if I do this…?”
· Shelley Berkley: “Let me say this, it’s my understanding that my office did contact the Ethics Committee but I didn’t personally do that. And all of the other issues that are involved with the ethics complaint and the ethics investigation, we’ve been asked to keep them confidential…”
· Steve Sebelius: “Did you hear back from them?”
· Shelley Berkley: “I don’t know. I don’t know and I can’t give you an answer…”
Source: Steve Sebelius, PoliticsNow, September 1, 2012:
So, which is it? Did Shelley Berkley or didn’t she know that there could be a conflict of interest? Which statement is true and which one is a lie? How could she not know the answer to that question? Or did she just not care either way?