Office Of Special Counsel Has The Same Political Problems As DOJ, Former Workers Say

July 31, 2008 5:36 p.m.

The Department of Justice has been taking a lot of heat lately for the inspector general’s report detailing pervasive, illegal partisanship among upper-level officials.

But former employees from the Office of Special Counsel say they’ve been complaining about the exact same problems for more than three years, and the White House is blocking a public report about misconduct in that office.

We often remind you that Special Counsel Scott Bloch is under investigation by the FBI. He’s accused of deleting emails — and possibly obstructing justice — in an investigation stemming from his employees complaining about the same kind of partisan activity outlined in Monday’s report from the DOJ Inspector General.

Now that group of employees who filed that complaint back in 2005 wants the White House to publish a report about their former employer.

A lawyer for the former employees, Avi Kumin, wrote a letter today to the White House Counsel, urging for a formal, public report.

Kumin rattled off several examples of parallels between DOJ and Bloch’s office.

My clients’ complaint reported that OSC officials hired several career employees primarily because they attended the Christian, conservative (and at the time only provisionally accredited) Ave Maria Law School. …

My clients reported years ago that Mr. Bloch fired them because of their perceived sexual orientation or perceived support for enforcing sexual orientation protections for federal employees. …

My clients’ compliant about OSC raised significant evidence that Mr. Bloch and his staff evaluated whistleblower and Hatch Act investigations based on partisan politics.

In theory, federal employees who feel they’ve faced discrimination for partisan or ideological reasons can file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel. But it’s hard to think that would get investigated impartially by an office itself accused of discriminating against people for political agendas.

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