FCC's Baker: Exit Was By the Book

Says she was expecting to seek renomination when NBCU offer came along

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Exiting FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker said Friday in a statement that she complied with all ethics laws and had gone further by not voting on any item since entering into discussions about the NBCU job offer she has agreed to take.

She indicated that she had planned to seek renomination--her term expires June 30--but decided to take the NBCU job offer. She also signaled she may not make it to the June 3 end date she indicated in her initial announcement. She did not vote at the May 12 public meeting and withdrew as a witness from Friday's FCC reform hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee.

"I'm proud of my nearly eight years of government service, and especially my service as an FCC Commissioner under Chairman Genachowski's leadership," she said in the statement. "Until late this spring, my plan was to seek renomination for a second term as Commissioner.  That was true all through the winter during consideration of the Comcast/NBCUniversal transaction and in the months after it was completed.

"Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment.  When this opportunity became available in mid-April, I made a personal decision that I wanted to give it serious consideration.

"Therefore, I immediately sought counsel from the General Counsel of the FCC, and recused myself on April 18th from any matters involving Comcast or NBCUniversal. I have not only complied with the legal and ethical laws, but I also have gone further. I have not participated or voted any item, not just those related to Comcast or NBCUniversal, since entering discussions about an offer of potential employment. Because of this, I plan to depart the Commission as soon as I am able to ensure an orderly wind-down of my office.

I will of course comply with all government ethics and Obama pledge restrictions going forward," she added.

Baker can't lobby the FCC for two years or the administration's top officials, all part of the Obama ethics pledge appointees sign.

Baker got hammered by the New York Times op ed page Friday as another government official in the revolving door between government and industry.