Ethics concerns surrounding former transportation secretary led to criminal referral: Inspector general

The Transportation Department’s internal watchdog discovered evidence of potential ethical violations by former agency Secretary Elaine Chao, leading to a Justice Department referral for a December prosecution, according to documents released Wednesday.

Pursuit of the case was declined by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, the Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General reported, according to a readout.

There were a number of “potential ethics concerns arising from the actions of the Secretary and Office of the Secretary (OST) staff under her direction,” investigators wrote.

Chao prepared to
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