Chief Counsel Anne Weismann Named as Interim Replacement
Washington, D.C. — Today, Melanie Sloan, the founding executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), announced she is stepping down from the position of Executive Director to become Of Counsel with the organization. In addition, Sloan will be forming a new public affairs firm, Triumph Strategy, with business partner Michael Huttner. The new firm will focus on crisis communications and disruption strategies and will be based in Washington, DC and Boulder, CO.
CREW Board Chair David Brock stated, “Melanie built CREW into one of the leading government watchdog groups in the country and I am sure she will bring the same success to her new endeavor.” Brock continued, “We are finalizing our search for Melanie’s replacement, and during the transition, CREW Chief Counsel Anne Weismann will serve as interim executive director.”
Sloan stated, “CREW has been a labor of love, but after 12 years of fighting government corruption and 20 years in public service, I am ready to take on new challenges. Under David’s leadership and with a new executive director, I expect CREW will continue to thrive and move in fresh, exciting directions.”
CREW opened its doors in February 2003, with Sloan as the organization’s sole employee. Before starting CREW, Sloan had served as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and had worked for both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Over 12 years, with the guidance of founding board Chair, Louis Mayberg, a Washington-based businessman, Sloan built the organization into a powerful voice, critical of Washington’s pay-to-play culture. Under Sloan’s tenure, some of CREW’s major accomplishments included:
- Preparing the ethics complaint filed by former Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX) against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), breaking a long ethics truce and helping push DeLay to resign from Congress;
- Filing an ethics complaint against Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), the investigation of which led to the senator’s resignation before the Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion;
- Publishing an annual list of the most corrupt members of Congress; the report named 88 members since 2005, almost two-thirds of whom are no longer serving in Congress;
- Representing Valerie Plame in a civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and others after Plame’s identity was leaked to conservative columnist Robert Novak;
- Highlighting the connections between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and numerous members of Congress, ending the careers of several including Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Reps. Bob Ney (R-OH), John Doolittle (R-CA), and J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ);
- Revealing that millions of emails had gone missing from the Bush White House in the run-up to the Iraq war, forcing the recovery of many;
- Suing the White House to release visitor records, resulting in a settlement in which the White House agreed to make visitor records publicly available;
- Filing numerous FEC and IRS complaints against dark money groups violating campaign finance and tax law, and suing Aetna Insurance Company for misleading shareholders about the extent of the company’s political giving.