Our Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

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A number of readers have sent in tips to help the folks at Powerline, who recently admitted to having trouble remembering administration officials (beyond Scooter Libby) who had been accused of corruption or resigned in the face of scandal.

How could you foresake us! cry our old pals Claude Allen, David Safavian, Brian Doyle. Who could forget former FDA commissioner, Lester Crawford? After the jump, you’ll find our partial (but fast-growing) list. If we’re missing a name, please send it along!

Indicted / Convicted/ Pled Guilty

* Scooter Libby – Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff – resigned after being indicted for Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, and Making False Statements in connection with the investigation stemming from the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.

* Lester Crawford – Commissioner, FDA – resigned after only two months on the job. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and making false statements.

* Brian Doyle – Deputy Press Secretary, DHS – Resigned in wake of child sex scandal. Pled no contest to 32 criminal counts.

* Claude Allen – Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy- resigned, pled guilty to shoplifting from Target stores.

* David Safavian – former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget – convicted of lying to ethics officials and Senate investigators about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

* Larry Franklin – intelligence officer, Defense – resigned, pled guilty to passing secrets to Israel.

* Roger Stillwell – desk officer, Interior Department – pled guilty to failing to report Redskins tickets and free dinners from Jack Abramoff.

* Frank Figueroa – senior DHS official, former head of anti-sex-crime Operation Predator – pled no contest to exposing himself to 16-year-old girl in Florida mall. Girl says he fondled himself for ten minutes. Figueroa forfeited his badge, gun, and access to databases; employment status pending internal DHS review.

* Darleen Druyun – senior contracting official, U.S. Air Force – pled guilty and sentenced to nine months in prison for her role in the Boeing tanker lease scandal.

* John Korsmo – chairman, Federal Housing Finance Board – pled guilty last year to lying to the Senate and an inspector general. He swore he had no idea how a list of presidents for FHFB-regulated banks were invited to a fundraiser for his friend’s congressional campaign. On the invites, Korsmo was listed as the “Special Guest.” Got 18 months of probation.

* P. Trey Sunderland III – chief, Geriatric Psychiatry, Nat’l Institute of Mental Health – admitted to a criminal conflict of interest charge for failing to report $300,000 received from Pfizer, Inc. *As of 12/11/06, still employed by NIMH.

Resigned Due to/Pending/After Investigation

* Carl Truscott – Director, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau – resigned. A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that Truscott wasted tens of thousands of dollars on luxuries, wasted millions on whimsical management decisions and violated ethics rules by ordering employees to help his nephew with a high school video project.

* Steven Griles – Deputy Secretary at the Interior Department – resigned, currently under investigation by the Justice Department for his ties to Jack Abramoff.

* Susan Ralston – assistant, White House – resigned amidst revelations that she had accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Abramoff without compensating him, counter to White House ethics rules.

* Dusty Foggo – Executive Director, CIA – stepped down following accusations of corruption in connection to the Duke Cunningham scandal. Under investigation.

* Janet Rehnquist – Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services – resigned in the face of allegations she blocked a politically dangerous probe on behalf of the Bush family.

* Ken Tomlinson, Board Chairman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting; member, Broadcasting Board of Governors – resigned at the release of an inspector general report concluding he had broken laws in spending CPB money to hire politically connected consultants to search for “bias” without consulting the board. At BBG, a separate investigation found he was running a “horse racing operation” out of his office, and continuing to hire politically-wired individuals to do “consulting” work for him. He’s still there.

* George Deutsch – press aide, NASA – resigned amid allegations he prevented the agency’s top climate scientist from speaking publicly about global warming.

* Richard Perle – Chairman, Defense Policy Board – resigned from Pentagon advisory panel amid conflict-of-interest charges.

* James Roche – secretary, U.S. Air Force – resigned in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease scandal, after it was revealed he had rather crudely pushed for Boeing to win a $23 billion contract.

* Marvin Sambur – top contracting executive, U.S. Air Force – Druyun’s boss, Sambur resigned in the wake of the scandal. Investigations cleared him of wrongdoing.

* Philip Cooney – chief of staff, White House Council on Environmental Quality – a former oil industry lawyer with no scientific expertise, Cooney resigned after it was revealed he had watered down reports on global warming.

* Thomas Scully – Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – shortly after Scully resigned in 2003, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found that Scully had pressured the agency’s actuary to underestimate the full cost of the Medicare reform bill by approximately $100 billion until after Congress passed the bill into law. Scully was also charged wtih conflict of interest allegations by the U.S. attorney’s office for billing CMS for expenses incurred during a job search while he still headed the agency. He settled those charges by paying $9,782.

* Michelle Larson Korsmo – deputy chief of staff, Department of Labor – Helped her husband (see Frank Korsmo, above) with his donor scam. Quietly left her Labor plum job in February 2004, about two weeks before news broke that she and her husband were the targets of a criminal probe.

* David Smith – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Interior Department – resigned after shooting a buffalo and accepting its remains as an illegal gratuity. He eventually paid over $3,000 for the dead buffalo, but only after the internal inquiry had commenced.

* Sean Tunis – Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – Last summer, the State of Maryland suspended his medical license because he faked documentation relating to his medical education. Despite that, he stayed on board for several months at CMS, albeit on administrative leave. He has since been replaced, although it’s not clear when because CMS did not announce the switch and has not responded to our calls.

Nomination Failed Due to Scandal

* Bernard Kerik – nominated, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security – withdrew his nomination amidst a host of corruption allegations. Eventually pled guilty to a misdemeanor relating to having accepted improper gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars while he was a New York City official in the late 1990’s.

* Timothy Flanigan – nominated, Deputy Attorney General – withdrew his nomination amidst revelations that he’d worked closely with lobbyist Jack Abramoff when he was General Counsel for Corporate and International Law at Tyco, which was a client of Abramoff’s.

* Linda Chavez – nominated, Secretary of Labor – withdrew her nomination amidst revelations that an illegal immigrant lived in her home and worked for her.

Update/Correction: This list originally included Joseph Schmitz, the Pentagon’s former inspector general in the “Resigned Due to Investigation, Pending Investigation, or Allegations of Impropriety” category. Although The Los Angeles Times reported in September of 2005 that Schmitz had resigned “amid accusations that he stonewalled inquiries into senior Bush administration officials suspected of wrongdoing,” Schmitz has since told us that his resignation was unconnected to those accusations, and that he had notified Donald Rumsfeld of his intent to resign fully one year prior, more than six months before Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) launched a probe of whether Schmitz had blocked two criminal investigations in 2004. Schmitz left public office to become chief operating officer and general counsel of the Prince Group, the parent company of Blackwater.

Schmitz also has provided TPM with portions of his statement to the Integrity Committee (IC) of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency in August 2006, in response to the July 7, 2005, Letter from Senator Grassley raising “allegations that [Schmitz had] either quashed or redirected two ongoing criminal investigations” — as well as communication by the IC Chairman that concluded, based on the Integrity Committee’s review of the evidence, that “[w]e will now notify Mr. Schmitz that the IC has reviewed the matter and concluded that there was no wrongdoing.”

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