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For Immediate Release: Oct 11, 2007
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

GROUPS URGE CONGRESS TO DENY FUNDS TO DISCREDITED SPECIAL COUNSEL

Obstruction Delaying Completion of Investigation


Washington D.C. – In a letter sent earlier this week, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Project On Government Oversight (POGO), and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) urged key congressional offices to deny requests for additional funds from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), pending the results of an investigation into alleged misconduct by OSC head Scott Bloch.

Since 2005, Special Counsel Bloch has been under investigation concerning allegations that Mr. Bloch retaliated against career staff who challenged gross mismanagement of the agency. The Office of Personnel Management Inspector General (OPM IG) is conducting the investigation on behalf of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE), an entity that governs conduct of the Inspectors General and the Special Counsel. The groups stressed the importance for the Congress to receive an interim report from the OPM IG concerning the investigation before doling out $3 million the Special Counsel is reportedly seeking.

Also this week, attorney Debra S. Katz who represents whistleblowers from the OSC and GAP, POGO and PEER wrote to White House counsel Fred Fielding pointing out that efforts by Mr. Bloch to obstruct the investigation are delaying its completion.

Attorney Debra S. Katz wrote in her letter: “It is our view that despite the diligent efforts of the OPM IG’s staff, Mr. Bloch has succeeded in obstructing and delaying this investigation for almost two and a half years. He has done so repeatedly, as I believe the OPM IG would confirm, both personally and through members of his political staff and most recently by directing his former and current political staff to refuse to answer questions about Mr. Bloch’s various misdeeds.”

Under questioning from members of Congress at an authorization hearing in July 2007, Bloch discussed the issue of asserting attorney-client privilege concerning some of the documents being sought in the OPM IG investigation.

COPIES OF LETTERS:

A copy of Attorney Debra S. Katz’ letter can be viewed here.

The letter sent by GAP, POGO and PEER can be viewed here.

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The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Seattle, WA.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals. PEER’s environmental work is solely directed by the needs of its members. As a consequence, we have the distinct honor of serving resource professionals who daily cast profiles in courage in cubicles across the country.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.

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