The US inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel Levinson, has this week confirmed his office is to launch an investigation into the reasons for the sudden departure of former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Lester Crawford, who resigned in September after less than three months in the post [[26/09/05a]].

The move sparked swift rebuttals from previous Senate supporters of Dr Crawford, who called upon Mr Levinson to "conduct a thorough review of the reasons" for his resignation, amid rumours that he had unintentionally failed to make a financial disclosure – which was rigorously denied by Dr Crawford [[30/09/05a]].

In his one and only interview since his departure from the agency – with – he revealed that his decision was based in part on the controversy surrounding the emergency contraceptive Plan B, and the prospects of another battle for the abortion drug RU-486. In addition, the Government Accountability Office was about to begin another round of routine investigations into financials conflicts that Dr Crawford didn’t want to go through again. “I thought it was time for somebody else to do it,” he told “I didn’t think it was possible to be very effective any more.”

“This office is currently reviewing the circumstances regarding Dr Crawford’s resignation,” Mr Levinson said in a letter to members of Congress.