Former Attorney General Jepsen Sparks Questions As He Steps Into Private Sector Role | Connecticut Public Radio

Former Attorney General Jepsen Sparks Questions As He Steps Into Private Sector Role

Feb 7, 2019

Connecticut’s former attorney general has found a new job. And for some it’s a controversial choice, as he could end up advising some of the entities he sued while he worked for the state.

George Jepsen – who was recently replaced by William Tong – has been hired by the Shipman & Goodwin law firm. He’ll be a partner in the firm’s State Attorneys General Practice Group.

“There’s an ever-changing legal landscape and with Congress as paralyzed as it is, so much of the action today, it takes place in state offices of Attorney General," Jepsen told Connecticut Public Radio. "Whether it’s financial issues, data privacy issues, environmental issues -- that’s where the action is. Shipman wants to be a part of that action.”

His job will involve two things; advising state attorneys general on certain legal pursuits, and providing counsel to the other side, private entities looking to “minimize exposure to litigation.”

“If you’re a business and you’re being investigated by multiple state attorneys general it’s useful to have somebody who has experience in dealing with state attorneys general and dealing with the issue,” he said.

Speaking on Connecticut Public Radio’s The Wheelhouse, Bilal Sekou said Jepsen’s new gig could be considered a conflict of interest. Sekou is the associate professor of political science at the University of Hartford.

“The former attorney general has a right to earn a living," said Sekou. "But, I think this really sounds a lot like the revolving door that we do in fact complain about when it comes to people who work in the military and make their way into private industry and utilize some of the relationships they’ve been able to build in their previous job.”

The former attorney general says that he’s barred from interacting with Connecticut’s attorney general office on a variety issues for up to one year so that he doesn’t violate the state office of ethics’ 'revolving door policy.'

Jepsen was the attorney general for eight years, but decided against seeking a third term in 2018.