U.S. Supreme Court

Wife of Chief Justice Roberts generated $10M in commissions in this job, whistleblower says

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AP John Roberts Jane Sullivan Roberts

Then-Chief Justice nominee John Roberts and his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, during a break in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2005. Photo by Evan Vucci/The Associated Press.

Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, generated $10.3 million in commissions as a legal recruiter over an eight-year period, according to internal records cited by Business Insider.

Roberts, who worked at legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, generated the commissions from the years 2007 to 2014, according to the Business Insider story, which was noted by How Appealing.

“Roberts’ apparent $10.3 million in compensation puts her toward the top of the pay scale for legal headhunters,” according to the article.

Her “attributed revenue” to Major Lindsey was $13.3 million during that time. The commissions were her share of the revenue.

The internal records were contained in a whistleblower complaint filed by Kendal B. Price, a disgruntled employee at Major Lindsey. Price said in an affidavit he thinks that at least some of Roberts’ “remarkable success” was the result of her spouse’s position.

Price had claimed in an unsuccessful 2014 lawsuit that Roberts and another recruiter collected commissions that should have been attributable to his work. Price obtained the commission figures during the litigation.

The New York Times previously reported that she was paid “millions of dollars in commissions,” but it did not have a more exact figure. Its story was based on a letter that Price sent to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The chief justice has listed his wife’s employers in financial disclosure statements, but he didn’t name her clients or the amount of money that she made. Justices are required only to list the sources of their spouses’ income, the type of work and the dates.

A court spokeswoman told the New York Times that the chief justice had consulted the conduct code for federal judges, as well as a 2009 advisory opinion that said judges “need not recuse merely because” a spouse worked as a recruiter for a firm.

Roberts is now the managing partner of Macrae Inc.’s Washington, D.C., office.

She and a Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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