Published On: Thu, Aug 10th, 2017

Ajit Pai accused of conflict for helping former client, a prison phone company

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on June 20, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

A prisoners’ rights group has accused Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai of having a conflict of interest because he used to represent a prison phone company as a lawyer.

Under Pai’s direction, the FCC dropped its court defense of rules capping the intrastate phone rates charged to prisoners. The decision helped prison phone companies—including Pai’s former client, Securus Technologies—continue to charge high prices.

Pai “represented Securus as its attorney while employed as a partner with the law firm of Jenner & Block, LLP, immediately preceding his confirmation as FCC Commissioner in May 2012,” Human Rights Defense Center Executive Director Paul Wright wrote in a filing with the commission yesterday.

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Biz & IT – Ars Technica

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