AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Criminal prosecutors investigating a troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting effort in Texas have cleared current state officials and board members with the agency, a spokesman for the board chairman said Tuesday.
No mention was made of former executives who resigned in recent months, and prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Travis County district attorney's office last month opened a case into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas after the embattled agency revealed giving $11 million in taxpayer funds to a private company without a required independent review.
A spokesman for Jimmy Mansour, chairman of the agency's governing board, said investigators told Mansour last week that many surrounding the agency had been cleared.
"(Mansour) was assured that CPRIT, as an organization, and all current board members, are free from suspicion in the ongoing CPRIT investigation. Mr. Mansour is pleased that this cloud has lifted," Austin lobbyist Bill Miller said.
Gregg Cox, a Travis County prosecutor who oversees the public integrity unit investigating the agency, was not in the office Tuesday. A phone message was not immediately returned.
Miller's statement did not address the agency's former leadership in charge when the grant to Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics was wrongfully approved in 2010. They include executive director Bill Gimson, chief commercialization officer Jerry Cobbs and chief scientific officer Alfred Gilman. None have been accused of wrongdoing.
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