Tuesday, April 13, 2021

R Street Institue Suing Former Employee Over "Side Gig" Work

 Here is more from Law.com:

R Street Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy organization, sued the former director of its criminal justice and civil liberties program Thursday in Virginia Eastern District Court over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, interference with donor relationships and other breaches. The 73-page complaint, filed by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, contends that attorney Arthur Rizer misused RSI resources and diverted opportunities away from the plaintiff for personal gain. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendants. The case is 1:21-cv-00401, R Street Institute v. Rizer d/b/a Arrow Consulting, LLC et al.


The full lawsuit can be found here.  Among other things, R Street Institute (RSI), headquartered in Washington, DC, says that Mr. Rizer repeatedly diverted work from RSI to his own consulting firm and used RSI resources to perform that work, charging expenses related to that work to RSI.

It is extremely common for think tankers to have a side hustle, often taking on numerous consulting gigs and/or starting their own consulting firms to siphon off work from their own think tank.

Some think tanks have mandatory conflict of interest (COI) disclosure forms that their scholars have to fill out annually, but others do not.  Even scholars who are supposed to disclose COIs often fail to do so.

According to his LinkedIn page, Dr. Rizer was Director of Justice Policy and Senior Fellow at R Street Institute from Aug. 2016 to Jan. 2021.  He is now Vice President of Technology, Criminal Justice, and Civil Liberties at the Lincoln Network.