Employee of the Month, Even Before He Started

"Three months prior to the announcement that Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Jeffery S. Merrifield would be joining the Shaw Group Inc. as Vice President of its Power Group, Mr. Merrifield vigorously championed several major policy initiatives that directly benefited his future employer," states the watchdog group Project on Governmental Oversight (POGO) in a press release. A previous Spin of the Day noted that, as Commissioner, Merrifield supported reducing government and public oversight of new nuclear power plant construction. Shaw's website says the company is "a leading force in nuclear new plant design and construction." POGO adds that, "because Shaw is among the largest construction companies in the nuclear industry, few companies stood to benefit more from this initiative." Merrifield also pushed to "accelerate the approval process for new nuclear plant construction by, among other things, scaling back public hearings and public comment periods." Merrifield began working at Shaw just 12 days after leaving the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. POGO is urging the NRC, including the agency's Inspector General's Office, "to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Merrifield's actions."