Novartis announced that Felix Ehrat, group general counsel, will retire June 1 due to fallout from his decision to pay $1.2M to a shell company formed by Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer.”
”Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error,” said a statement from Ehrat. “As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end.”
Novartis chairman Jorg Reinhardt said he appreciated Ehrat’s decision to quit though he regrets his departure.
Novartis paid $100K monthly to Cohen’s Essential Consultants, which was formed to funnel $130K to porn star and alleged 2016 Trump sex partner Stormy Davis. The contract expired in February.
The Swiss pharmaceuticals giant hired Essential Consultants to “get out ahead” in understanding Team Trump’s healthcare agenda.
Ehrat, general counsel since 2011, signed the Essential Consultants pact with former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez.
Vas Narasimhan, who succeeded Jimenez in February, told staffers that he was not involved with the Essential Consultants arrangement.
Shannon Thyme Klinger, chief ethics, risk and compliance officer, will take over for Ehrat.