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Ex-state commerce secretary takes job with Bose McKinney

January 3, 2017

Victor Smith, who recently resigned as the state’s commerce secretary, has joined one of the city’s most influential law firms and its sister lobbying and government affairs firm.

Smith will be a partner in the Bose McKinney & Evans business and governmental services groups and principal in the Bose Public Affairs Group. He started the jobs Tuesday.

The firm said Smith will focus on “assisting businesses to grow in the U.S. by providing strategic business services as well as federal, state and local governmental affairs services.”

 “As secretary of commerce, Victor amassed an unrivaled portfolio of economic development achievements for Indiana—benefiting Hoosiers in his home state and citizens throughout our country,” said Doug Brown, the managing principal of Bose Public Affairs Group, in a written statement. “We look forward to him bringing his incredible skill-set to our firms, and to our clients as he helps them attain even greater levels of success.”

State employees are banned from taking jobs for one year with companies that they regulated or did business with as a state official.

A search of state contracts revealed no business transactions between the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Bose. Still, Bose spokeswoman Rachel Sorvig said, like most major law firms, Bose has represented clients before the IEDC and done work with the agency. "We are aware of and will strictly comply with Indiana ethics laws," she said.

And Sorvig said that, although it's not required, Smith has requested an informal opinion from the Inspector General’s office about his new role.

Outgoing Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, appointed Smith to serve as the state’s secretary of commerce in January 2013. Prior to that appointment, he worked 17 years in operations, sales and executive leadership at Indiana-based CDS Engineering. He also worked as an aide to former Vice President Dan Quayle and outgoing Sen. Dan Coats.

According to Bose, the state completed 1,096 economic development transactions during Smith’s tenure, which were projected to total $15.5 billion in investments and 93,600 new jobs.

“Victor’s reputation as an extremely successful businessman and attorney extends well beyond the borders of Indiana,” said Jeffrey Gaither, managing partner at Bose McKinney & Evans.

Incoming Gov. Eric Holcomb has selected Jim Schellinger, now the president of the IEDC, to replace Smith as the state's commerce secretary.

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