In the News (Thursday)
Among the headlines: a scary judge, a whistleblower drama fit for fiction, and how could it be Thursday without a sexual harassment case?
In the NYT. Donald T. DiFrancesco, former acting governor of New Jersey and former president of the State Senate for nearly a decade, has been accused of sexual harassment by a former partner at his law firm, Michele D Onofrio. The lawsuit alleges that he made inappropriate comments and advances, including crude comments after her post-breast cancer reconstructive surgery. The former partner says she isn't alone.
Innocent whistle-blower or clever con-artist? Seattle-based pharm co. Cell Therapeutics got FDA approval to sell a cancer drug, Trisenox, but with whistle-blower James Marchese's help the Dept. of Justice sued them for illegally expanding sale of the drug beyond the limited scope of the FDA approval. Now Justice officials, armed with incriminating excerpts from a (fiction or non-fiction?) book by Mr. Marchese, and testimony of his ex-girlfriend, are looking into whether he was one of the masterminds of the illegal operation. If so, they won't prosecute him but will withhold his qui tam award. He denies any wrongdoing and says he's only made personal sacrifices, like being black-balled from the industry, to do what he felt was the right thing.