Probe of stem cell agency

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The Sacramento Bee

The California Fair Political Practices Commission on Monday said it will investigate a possible conflict-of-interest violation at the state stem cell agency.

A taxpayers group filed a complaint Nov. 21 alleging that John Reed, one of the 29 members of the stem cell agency’s board, broke state conflict-of-interest law by asking agency staff to reconsider their decision to reject a $638,000 grant to a researcher at the institute he heads.

FPPC spokesman Roman Porter said his agency will examine the case and could bring it before the five-member commission for a ruling. He declined to offer a timetable.

Reed has said he wasn’t aware his actions violated any rules.

John Simpson filed the complaint on behalf of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

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