As Margaret Kripke was announced to be the next head of the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas earlier this week, William Gimson, the executive director, offered his resignation letter, reports ScienceInsider. In the letter, Gimson wrote that he has "been placed in a situation where I feel I can no longer be effective" and that, after he leaves, he hopes "that my fellow CPRIT workers will finally be able to get back to what is important." ScienceInsider adds that if the CPRIT board accepts Gimson's resignation, he will stay on with the organization until the middle of January.
And now the organization is under criminal investigation, the Nature News Blog reports. The county district attorney's office is investigating how certain grants were awarded, particularly ones made to companies linked to a major campaign contributor to Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) and to companies tied to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R-Texas). The Nature News Blog reports that those companies did not score well during the review process, though they still received awards.
The DA's office is also looking into an $11 million award made to Peloton Therapeutics that apparently did not go through the review process. There is also a civil investigation into the Peloton awards, Nature adds.
"CPRIT will cooperate fully with the Attorney General's office and the Travis County District Attorney's office on their investigations. There will be no further comment at this time," Gimson said in an email to the Nature News Blog.