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Stratton takes charge at the CPSC.

Following his late July confirmation by the Senate, the new Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Harold Stratton, has finally been sworn in and has taken charge at the regulatory agency.

The Monitor has learned that the House Commerce Committee is calling Stratton to the Hill for a hearing next week, most likely a get-acquainted session.

One of Stratton's first actions was to name a new Executive Director--Patricia (Patsy) Semple, formerly a staff assistant to Commissioner Mary Gall. She has assumed her duties in the Executive Director's office, and the Acting Executive Director, Tom Murr, has resumed his role as a Deputy.

Semple has been a long-time associate of Gall's, working with her at the Department of Health and Human Services before moving to CPSC in 1991. An experienced policy analyst for Gall, she brings years of close association with all of the issues with which the Commission must deal in the months ahead. Semple is well liked by the career staff, and should have no trouble making the transition from Gall's staff to the top appointive post at the Commission.

Thus far, Stratton has made only two other appointments. One is Jeffrey Troutt, an attorney and former Director of Consumer Protection in New Mexico's Attorney General's Office, who will serve as a special legal assistant to Stratton. The other is Joe Mohorovic, a former member of New Mexico's House of Representatives, who will also be a policy aide to Stratton. Stratton once served as a member of the New Mexico House as well, and was New Mexico's Attorney General.

Stratton has not yet made appointments of a General Counsel, a Director of Congressional Relations, or a Director of Public Affairs.

One other personnel note is that Ron Medford, a high-level CPSC official who took a lengthy sabbatical to work for the company that makes the new "Segway" human transporter, is back at CPSC headquarters in Bethesda, Md. Medford, who was formerly the Assistant Executive Director for Hazard Identification and Reduction, is now on a "special detail" studying ways to improve CPSC's involvement in international regulatory matters. (1)

CPSC staff is relieved to have the Commission's membership back up to a quorum. But Commissioner Mary Gall has taken a temporary leave to recuperate from necessary medical procedures and is not expected back full time at the Commission until some time in October. Nonetheless, Gall can still vote by ballot and could sign off on any necessary documents that may be required should the agency need to take legal action.

(1) See CPSC Monitor, Vol. 7, Issue 2, February 2002, "High Level CPSC Official Takes Sabbatical to Work for Company that Makes New `Segway' Human Transporter."
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Title Annotation:US Consumer Product Safety Commission appoints Harold Stratton
Publication:CPSC Monitor
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Previous Article:As the U.S. Senate Fiddles, CPSC's agenda stews.
Next Article:Stratton announces $1 million fine for GE.

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