Morgan Stanley fired its highest ranking real estate executive in China after finding evidence that he may have offered bribes to Chinese officials, the firm admitted in an SEC filing last month. Garth Peterson -- a "star deal maker who had become a powerful figure on the Shanghai investment scene," according to the New York Times -- partnered with Chinese government investment funds on some deals. The United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American business people from bribing foreign officials. (New York Times).
The Justice Department's Inspector General is probing a $250-per-person fundraiser held at the Philadelphia home of interim U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid. The January 30 event was held on behalf of former US Attorney Patrick Meehan, a likely GOP candidate for governor in 2010, and was hosted by Magid's husband, Jeffrey Miller. Magid assumed her present position after Meehan stepped down last summer. DOJ is investigating whether the fundraiser ran afoul of a law limiting the political activities of federal employees. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The lawyer for a top official in FEMA's New Orleans Hurricane Recovery Office has said that calls for his client to resign are unwarranted. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) called for Douglas Whitmer, the office's chief of staff, to step down after a congressional hearing into allegations of sexual harassment, cronyism, and other ethics violations at the office. FEMA has said that for now, Whitmer has been moved to a regional agency office in Texas. (Associated Press)