FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Brenda Fitzgerald, Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, left, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal respond to questions in Atlanta. U.S. officials announced that Fitzgerald, the director of the nation’s top public health agency has resigned because of financial conflicts of interest. On Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials said Fitzgerald’s complex financial interests had caused conflicts of interest that made it difficult to do her job. Alex Azar, who was sworn in as head of the department Monday, accepted her resignation.
Photo: AP Photo/David Tulis, File
Photo: AP Photo/David Tulis, File

CDC director resigns after trading tobacco stocks

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said Fitzgerald, who previously served as Georgia’s top public health official, tendered her resignation after detailing the scope of her financial holdings to health chief Alex Azar. 

“Dr. Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC Director,” said spokesman Matt Lloyd. 

“Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.” 

The news came less than a day after Politico reported that Fitzgerald purchased tobacco company stock a month after she took the high-profile job, raising conflict-of-interest questions since the CDC is tasked with reducing tobacco use and promoting public health. 

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