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Google’s Chief Legal Counsel Settles $700k SEC Complaint

I’m a big believer in giving someone a second chance, but I’m not sure what to make of the news that Google’s chief legal counsel just settled an SEC complaint for is role with a previous company.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle

David Drummond, has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a complaint by federal regulators that accused him of helping to misstate the financial results of his previous employer, SmartForce.

The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced Thursday, stems from his role as chief financial officer for SmartForce, a software company that overstated its revenue by $113.6 million and profit by $127 million, during a 3 1/2 year period ending in mid-2002.

Drummond didn’t admit any guilt as part of the deal and Google said they plan to keep him at the company.

Harvey Wolkoff, Drummond’s attorney, said in a statement: “In retrospect, Mr. Drummond acknowledges that he would have been better served in his role at SmartForce had he possessed an accounting background. However, it was not unusual during this period in time to find many CFOs like David who were not trained as accountants, but instead were hired for their expertise in other important corporate functions.”

What do you think? No big deal, or should Google show him the door?