When Scott Bloch was appointed by President Bush to lead the Office of Special Counsel, one of the first things he did early last year was to scrub all department literature of any mention of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Last spring career employees within the OSC say they informed members of Congress and the press that Bloch was ignoring this part of the agency's mandate.Tbogg had a long post on this a few weeks back.
What happened next, according to a legal complaint filed by a group of anonymous OSC employees, was a series of retaliatory strikes by Bloch. First, he slapped a blanket gag order on all employees, forbidding them from talking about agency matters with anyone, including members of Congress, without first getting permission from Bloch or one of his political appointees.
And then in January of this year, Bloch suddenly told 12 top staff of the OSC, many of whom had butted heads with him earlier, that they were to be transferred to Dallas, Oakland and Detroit. If they chose to decline the transfers, they would be fired.
The OSC employees filed their complaint with the OSC itself. Because of the obvious conflict of interest, it's been forwarded to the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, a panel of presidentially appointed inspectors-general. Several watchdog groups worry that having this council take up the complaint also creates a conflict of interest, as Bush appointees investigate other Bush appointees.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
K.M. | Thursday, March 10, 2005 |