Governor Nixon’s choice to head the Department of Economic Development hits a snag in the state senate.
St. Louis lawyer Linda Martinez is leaving a partnership with the big law firm of Bryan Cave in St. Louis to be the state’s economic development director. She specialized in financial and development issues and has promised "bold steps to create and retain good-paying jobs."
She’s been serving as acting director since Nixon took office two weeks ago.
The state senate has to confirm her appointment, but Senator Brad Lager has stalled the process until he gets some information. He wants a list of all clients she has worked with for the last year so he can determine if any potential project before the department or its divisions are pending as Martinez takes over. He says he wants to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Martinez says legal ethics keep her from revealing that list. But she had promised members of a Senate committee she would recuse herself from any actions involving any of her former clients.
Lager has asked the department, the state housing commission, and the state development board for lists of any companies they have dealt with that used Bryan Cave as their representatives. He expects to have that information early next week and be more comfortable about voting to confirm her in the job.