Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker announced his immediate resignation Tuesday, admitting his involvement with a 2012 information leak.
Lacker said a conversation with an analyst from Medley Global Advisors in 2012 may have disclosed confidential information about Fed policy options.
The day after the conversation, Medley Global Advisors reported details of a September 2012 Fed policy-setting meeting. Those details were made public one day before the central bank’s own record of a meeting during which officials discussed a major massive bond-buying stimulus that was planned for later in 2012.
The Medley report controversy became a topic of debate in Congress, leading to a criminal investigation.
In May 2015, Financial Services Committee chair Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, subpoenaed documents and communications related to the leak. At the time, Fed officials said sharing information with Congress might jeopardize a criminal investigation.
Lacker’s resignation was negotiated with law enforcement officials involved in the probe, CNBC reported. It said no charges will be filed against Lacker.
“In this episode, as in all of my communications with analysts, journalists and the public, it was never my intention to reveal confidential information,” Lacker said in a statement.
“I further acknowledge that through this and other conversations with the Analyst, I may have contravened the External Communications Policy, which prohibits providing any profit-making person or organization with a prestige advantage over its competitors,” he added.
Lacker noted that he was not forthcoming about the incident in a December 2012 investigation.
“Although it was my intention to cooperate fully with the internal review, I regret that I did not disclose to the General Counsel, either in my December 6, 2012 questionnaire or the December 10, 2012 interview, that the Analyst was in possession of confidential information,” he said.
He admitted that he did not reveal what had transpired until 2015, when he was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
“I apologize to my colleagues and to the public I have been privileged to serve. I have always strived to maintain the appropriate balance between transparency and confidentiality, but I regret that in this instance I crossed the line to confirming information that should have remained confidential,” he wrote in his statement.
He said that he had initially planned to step down in October, but instead was making his resignation immediate.
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