True reform never runs smooth. The Securities and Exchange Commission and its chief, Harvey Pitt, came under fire this week for the appointment of former CIA and FBI chief William Webster to head the new accounting oversight board.

Splitting along bitter partisan lines, Webster was narrowly elected chair of the new board, with Democratic commissioners crying foul and claiming that former TIAA-CREF chair John Biggs was disqualified because accounting lobbyists felt he’d be too harsh on the profession.

After late-breaking reports surfaced that Pitt never told commissioners before the vote that Webster sat on the audit committee of a board being probed for accounting irregularities, the SEC launched a formal investigation into the matter.

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