FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECRM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2000(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND FORMER AMBASSADOR SETTLE
ALLEGATIONS OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST VIOLATION
WASHINGTON D.C.--A former United States Ambassador to Ireland today paid $5,000 in a civil settlement to resolve allegations that she violated conflict of interest laws for federal employees.
Jean Kennedy Smith served as Ambassador to Ireland from June 1993 to October 1998. On August 5, 1998, Smith sent a letter on official U. S. Department of State letterhead to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern requesting a one million dollar donation from the Irish Government for the year 2000 Irish Festival to be sponsored by and held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ("Kennedy Center") in the spring of 2000.
At the time that she sent the letter, Smith was serving, and continues to serve, on the Board of Trustees for the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center is a non-profit cultural and charitable organization located in Washington, D.C. that hosts performances of music and dance and sponsors cultural events.
The government claimed that Smith's letter to the Irish Government was a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 208, which in part, prohibits a federal executive branch employee, including an Ambassador, from participating personally and substantially in a particular matter in which, to her knowledge, an organization in which she is serving as a trustee has a financial interest.
This matter was handled by the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section.
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