Former head of the Office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch has formally requested to withdraw his guilty plea because he didn’t know it would come with a minimum of one month in prison.Federal prosecutors previously filed a motion indicating that Bloch would withdraw his guilty plea since a judge ruled that by law Bloch has to spend at least one month behind bars and not just get off with probation.
“Mr. Bloch had no knowledge whatsoever of the mandatory nature of the sentence,” Bloch’s lawyer William M. Sullivan, Jr. writes. “Nor did counsel, or the Court, at the time of his plea, as the Court’s own decision determining [the code] to carry a mandatory term came months after the plea proceeding.”
Bloch first pleaded guilty last spring to misdemeanor contempt of Congress because he rang up Geeks on Call to wipe his government hard drive clean as investigators were probing his alleged retaliation against employees.
“Mr. Bloch only became aware that he had potentially exposed himself to a mandatory minimum sentence after he received his [pre-sentence investigation], which, again, was submitted well after the plea proceeding,” Sullivan wrote. “[N]othing in the record indicates that Mr. Bloch had actual knowledge that the Court would later find [the code] to carry a minimum sentence, especially when no prior sentencings under the statute applied a mandatory term.”
Bloch is due back in U.S. District Court in D.C. on March 10th at 2:30 p.m.