Mattis to exit high-paid board seat if confirmed as defense chief

To keep away from conflicts of curiosity, Washington native James Mattis would step down from Basic Dynamics’ board and depart behind greater than $500,000 in unvested fairness shares if he’s confirmed as secretary of protection.

Hal Bernton

James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps basic, will resign from a board place with Basic Dynamics and take different steps to keep away from conflicts of curiosity ought to he achieve congressional approval to function protection secretary underneath President-elect Donald Trump.

Mattis is a Washington native who grew up in Richland and spent greater than 4 many years within the Marines earlier than retiring in 2013. Since then he has taken on quite a few board and consulting posts, and a place as a visiting fellow at Stanford College’s Hoover Establishment.

On Thursday, Mattis faces affirmation hearings within the U.S. Senate, and Congress additionally should approve a waiver to a regulation that requires a protection secretary to have been out of army service for a minimum of seven years.

His multimillion-greenback monetary holdings are summarized in a submitting made public over the weekend by the U.S. Workplace of Authorities Ethics. As a part of that submitting, Mattis, in a letter to the Defense Department’s Office of General Counsel, wrote that he will take steps to “avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest” as secretary of defense.

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A major potential conflict is with General Dynamics, a major Department of Defense contractor. Mattis serves on the board and has received $276,000 in compensation since last August. He also holds unvested stock options and restricted stock shares worth more than $1 million.

As first reported by Bloomberg, Mattis wrote that he would forfeit his unvested equity shares. They were worth about $523,000 as of Friday’s stock-market close. He also would sell — within 90 days of his confirmation — his vested stock, worth $562,000 as of Friday’s close.

Mattis said he would also refrain, for one year, from participating in decisions involving General Dynamics unless he gets a special authorization.

Bloomberg reported that such a recusal could sideline Mattis from some major Pentagon decisions. The Pentagon may buy more vehicles from General Dynamics, and the Navy is in contract talks with the corporation over the building of 12 nuclear missile submarines — a project that moved forward last week when a…

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