WASHINGTON - A top attorney for the Chrysler group has been named the chief lawyer for the federal agency charged with regulating motor vehicle safety.
Jacqueline Glassman, 39, senior counsel with the automaker since 1997, was to be sworn in this week as chief counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Bush administration officials said.
Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, in a prepared statement, applauded Glassman's talent and experience in legal affairs related to traffic safety.
But some outside organizations sharply criticized the selection.
"It's like sending the fox to guard the hen house," said Lee Jones, executive director of the research organization Safetyforum.com.
"The flagrant, unhealthy camaraderie between big corporations and the Bush administration does not bode well for unsuspecting consumers."
Before joining the former Chrysler Corp., Glassman was with the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, in Chicago, where she specialized in regulatory, constitutional and commercial litigation, the administration said.
In another appointment, Annette Sandberg, 40, former chief of the Washington State Patrol, was named deputy administrator of NHTSA.