Ethical questions raised around Gary Locke's house sale
Bill Radke talks to Lee Fang, an investigative reporter for The Intercept about the four part investigation he co-wrote that details foreign investment in U.S. politics, including the relationship between former Washington state governor and former U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke and the Chinese family that runs APIC.
We reached out to Mr. Locke for comment on this story. His spokesperson Roger Nyhus responded with the following statement:
"The Intercept article paints a picture that is distorted and inaccurate.
Mr. Locke reported the sale of his home to the State Department, as he was required. There is no ethical issue as Mr. Locke did not help the company with the U.S. government while he was U.S. commerce secretary or U.S. ambassador to China. Mr. Locke had known Mr. Chen since Mr. Locke was in private practice before becoming U.S. commerce secretary.
Mr. Locke first met APIC in the summer of 2008 when he worked with Seattle law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine, and attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony of a soybean factory in China with other DWT attorneys at the request of APIC, a client of the firm. It was there in China that he first met Mr. Tang, and Mr. Locke did not meet him again until the fall of 2014, after he had left government service. Also, the Tangs are permanent residents of Singapore.
Mr. Locke listed his D.C. house through a broker. Wilson Chen, president of APIC, heard about it while playing golf with Davis Wright Tremaine folks. Mr. Chen said he knew someone who would be interested in buying the house. It turned out to be his sister. It’s important to point out that APIC is an American company, and Wilson Chen, president of APIC, is an American citizen.
Wilson Chen attended a real estate seminar at the U.S. embassy in Beijing as part of the City of San Francisco delegation, which was invited. Mr. Locke did not invite him. The conference was organized by the economic unit of the State Department at the embassy.
Through his consulting business, Mr. Locke currently serves solely as an adviser to APIC on real estate investments in the Pacific Northwest, which began in the fall of 2014 months after he left public office and returned home to Seattle."