President Bush's point man for ethics policy, C. Boyden Gray, is resigning as chairman of a multimillion-dollar communications company to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, the White House said Monday.
Gray, Bush's official legal counsel since 1981, previously had said he would remain as chairman of the family-owned Summit Communications Group, Inc. but would refuse a salary.He resigned, effective Monday, after consulting with the heads of Bush's new ethics commission, said White House Press secretary Marlin Fitzwater.
Fitzwater said the action was prompted in part by news accounts over the weekend in The New York Times and The Washington Post that pointed out that the Reagan White House had a policy that forbade employees from serving in such chairmanships or earning outside income.
Fitzwater said there would have been "nothing inappropriate" about Gray keeping the post in the Bush administration. But he said Gray was advised to resign by former Attorney General Griffin Bell and federal appeals Judge Malcolm Wilkie, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the newly created President's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform.
He said Gray also would be putting his personal assets into a blind trust. The Washington Post estimated Gray's investments at $10 million.