INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A key aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence removed himself from the U.S.
governmentís rolls of federal lobbyists and canceled a lucrative lobbying
contract with the state of Indiana days before Donald Trumpís team announced
it will ban lobbyists from taking jobs with the administration.
filed the necessary paperwork Nov. 14 and canceled a contract that had paid
him $23,000 a month to be the sole Washington lobbyist for Indiana, where
Pence has been governor. Two days later, Trumpís transition team announced
it will prohibit transition advisers and incoming officials from work as
registered federal or state lobbyists.
Pitcock, who has a
formal role on Trumpís transition team, did not respond to a message seeking
comment. Pence spokesman Matthew Lloyd confirmed Pitcock had canceled his
contract with the state.
Pitcock has worked
for Pence since he was a member of Congress and served at one point as
Penceís chief of staff. He was hired under contract to be Indianaís federal
lobbyist once Pence took office as Indianaís governor in 2013 and has been
paid a total of nearly $1 million in lobbying feeds since then.
Press reported earlier this month that during the presidential campaign,
Pitcock held a second paid job with the Trump campaign and regularly
traveled with Pence to political rallies across the country during working
hours. Legal and ethics experts said the unusual arrangement presented
ethics concerns and could pose a conflict of interest.
Pitcock and Penceís
gubernatorial administration have said Pitcock was an independent
contractor, which made him exempt from ethics rules that apply to
rank-and-file state employees. They said his lobbying contract with the
state explicitly allowed him to take on work for other clients, including
the Trump campaign.
On Monday, another
former Pence aide who works as a lobbyist in Indianapolis announced he was
opening a new office in Washington. William A. Smith, who worked for Pence
when he was in Congress and served as his first chief of staff in the
Indiana governorís office, said his firm Sextons Creek was partnering with
lobbying firm Fidelis Government Relations. Smith said he will soon be
taking on clients to work on federal and state issues.