11/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Homeland Security Nominee Failed To Report Lobbying Background

A nominee for a high-level position in the Department of Homeland Security has come under fire for her failure to disclose past work as a lobbyist.

The Washington Times reports that Dr. Tara O'Toole, who is being vetted for a position overseeing bioterrorism defense, failed to report her work with the Alliance for Biosecurity, a lobbying group funded by the pharmaceutical industry that urged the government to spend more money on anthrax vaccines.

Officials at DHS said that because Alliance for Biosecurity is not incorporated, a disclosure was not necessary.

According to the Washington Times:

Ethics rules require nominees to report any paid or unpaid positions held outside of government, including but not limited to those of "officer, trustee, general partner, representative, employee or any consultant of any corporation, firm, partnership or other business enterprise ...." Dr. O'Toole signed a letter on behalf of the group sent to the White House as recently as March.

-- Jenna Staul