Andrew Smith, the top consumer protection official at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is barred from handling cases involving more than 100 different companies due to conflicts of interest from his prior work as a private sector attorney, according to documents obtained by the consumer group, Public Citizen.
Andrew Smith, who was tapped as the chief of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau in May, listed 120 conflicts on a financial disclosure form that Public Citizen released on Thursday.
Among them are Facebook, Equifax and Uber, all of which are either under investigation by the FTC or operating under consent agreements with the agency.
“Even in an administration full of unprecedented conflicts of interests, Mr. Smith’s conflicts stand out from the pack,” Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen’s vice president of legislative affairs, said in a statement.
“The Federal Trade Commission should be protecting consumers against predatory payday lenders and corporate bad actors rather than giving the corporate lawyer who has represented these companies a job. This is one more example of the fox guarding the henhouse,” Gilbert added.