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The Wall Street Journal: Wilbur Ross says he’ll sell equity investments after ‘inadvertent errors’

WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross agreed Thursday to sell all of his equity investments after acknowledging that he failed to sell some holdings as required by ethics agreements.

Ross said he made “inadvertent errors” due to a “complex” portfolio stemming from his long career as a private-equity investor. The government’s top ethics watchdog, the Office of Government Ethics, had told him that the errors undermined public trust and that some transactions could have placed him “in a position to run afoul of the primary criminal conflict of interest law.”

“Your failure to divest created the potential for a serious criminal violation on your part and undermined public confidence,” David Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote in a letter dated Thursday.

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