JUNE 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Bill Halter, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor, says there's no connection between his departure from a California bio-tech firm's board and a Justice Department probe of the company. Halter faces state Senator Tim Wooldridge of Paragould in the June 13 runoff for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
Halter decided yesterday that he decided against seeking another term on the board of the company called InterMune because of his wife's pregnancy and his campaign for the state's second-highest office. Halter stepped down from the company's board May 24 after his term expired. He had joined the board of the Brisbane, California company in July 2002.
In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it was under investigation by the Justice Department over the marketing and promotion of Actimmune, one of its patented drugs. The company said it received a subpoena from the Justice Department in November 2004. Halter said that investigation had nothing to do with his decision to leave the board. InterMune spokeswoman Pam Lord said the inquiry was ongoing but was not related to Halter.