Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, right




















Most Corrupt Bush Appointees: Michael Leavitt


July 22, 2006, LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt defended his family's charitable giving, as two senators called for tighter regulation of private foundations. Leavitt and his relatives have reportedly claimed millions of dollars in tax deductions through a charitable foundation that until recently paid out little in actual charity.

A spokeswoman for Leavitt said the foundation's activities are "totally legal and proper."

© 2006 Los Angeles Times


June 15, 2006, USA TODAY, Kevin Freking, AP -- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt defended his extensive use of a jet leased to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for emergencies. Leavitt said he could not have overseen the implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, plus help prepare states for a potential flu pandemic, without the use of the plane.

His explanation came at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, where Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., accused Leavitt of using the jet to "do public relations for the president" on the drug benefit. Lewis cited an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that analyzed the Gulfstream III's flight log and found that the 14-seat jet has been used primarily by Leavitt to attend news conferences promoting the drug plan and meetings with state officials about their flu pandemic plans. The flights have cost more than $700,000 since January, the newspaper reported.

Since January, Leavitt has taken the jet on 19 trips to visit more than 90 cities, said his spokeswoman, Christina Pearson. During the same period, CDC officials said they had used the aircraft to respond to three emergencies and conduct three training exercises. The newspaper reported that during two emergencies, the CEDC was forced to use another plane because Leavitt was using the Gulfstream jet.

© 2006 USA TODAY

"Most Corrupt Appointees" describes appointees shown on Most, not a ranking



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