"Less than a month into his tenure as the top air-policy official at the Environmental Protection Agency, Bill Wehrum hopped into the EPA’s electric Chevy Volt and rode to the Pennsylvania Avenue offices of his former law firm.
There, he met with representatives of the nation’s largest power companies — including two groups that, shortly before, had been his paying clients — to brief them on the Trump administration’s plans to weaken federal environmental regulations.
The Dec. 7, 2017, meeting is just one example of interactions between Wehrum, a skilled lawyer and regulator, and former clients that ethics experts say comes dangerously close to violating federal ethics rules. Wehrum acknowledges that since joining the EPA in November 2017, he has met with two former clients at his old firm — without consulting in advance with ethics officials, even though they had cautioned him about such interactions. He also weighed in on a policy shift that could have influenced litigation involving DTE Energy, a Detroit-based utility represented by his former firm."