Deputy Quits Troubled U.S. Whistleblower Office
The resignation of the second-in-command at the government's top whistle-blower office -- and his accusation that his boss, U.S. Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch, put "political agendas and personal vendettas" ahead of the agency's mission and independence -- is the latest shake-up in a office that has been under scrutiny for years.
James Byrne's resignation as deputy to Bloch is effective Saturday, The Associated Press reports. Bloch is under federal investigation, accused of destroying evidence potentially showing he retaliated against his own staff.
Bloch, appointed by President Bush in 2003 to protect government whistle-blowers and to enforce prohibitions on political activity in the federal workplace, is facing allegations of political bias, obstruction of justice and mismanagement.
The inspector general at the Office of Personnel Management has investigated Bloch since 2005 over alleged mistreatment of employees and his handling of whistle-blower cases.
Byrne did not go into details about his allegations in a July 10 letter to Bloch, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
"Upon my departure, I am obligated to note that the mission, independence and very existence of the Office of Special Counsel are -- and shall remain -- at risk unless and until this agency is afforded a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed leader who is capable of putting OSC's mission and OSC's people ahead of political agendas and personal vendettas," Byrne wrote.
By Derek Kravitz |
July 18, 2008; 3:32 PM ET
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