updated 9/11/2006 12:21:31 PM ET 2006-09-11T16:21:31

A federal researcher received more than $100,000 from drug companies in unauthorized deals and failed to report the income, a newspaper reported Sunday.

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An internal review of the National Institute of Health last year concluded Dr. Thomas J. Walsh had committed “serious misconduct” that could lead to his dismissal, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the confidential report.

No disciplinary action has been taken against Walsh, a senior researcher who has helped lead major clinical trials involving cancer patients.

Attorneys representing Walsh have written to the NIH’s ethics officials, saying the agency’s rules were complicated and defending their client’s motives.

The newspaper reported that Walsh referred questions to NIH press aides, while stating he had never served as a representative or advocate for any pharmaceutical company.

“The review panel finds that the scientific subject matter of the activities overlap directly with Dr. Walsh’s research at NIH,” the agency’s chief ethics lawyer, Holli Beckerman Jaffe, wrote in June 2005.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative subcommittee were expected to hold a hearing this week on the agency’s handling of Walsh’s case.

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