Group Wants New Inquiries About Frist Stock Sale

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Liberal advocacy group Public Citizen has asked for new inquiries into Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's finances.

The request Wednesday to the Senate Ethics Committee stems from the sale from Frist's blind trusts stock in three companies with ties to HCA Inc., the hospital giant founded by his father and brother.

Public Citizen, which was founded by Ralph Nader, issued a 10-page letter to the Senate Ethics Committee alleging Frist had too much information about his holdings in American Retirement Corp., Triad Hospitals Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals Inc.

It also encouraged the committee to seek explanations for why those stocks were sold for profit weeks before they peaked.

But the group also said it had "no information confirming that anything improper took place."

Public Citizen also filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC and Department of Justice are already investigating Frist's sale of HCA shares this summer.

Triad and LifePoint spun off from HCA in 1999. American Retirement Corp. was founded in part by Frist's father, who was also one of the founders of HCA.

Frist spokeswoman Amy Call said Public Citizen's complaint and press release, "represents just another transparent attempt by a partisan interest group to concoct a political issue.