Scott Bloch, the controversial head of the Office of Special Counsel, the government agency that oversees all investigations of discrimination and whistleblowing in the Federal government, continues to be investigated and is now being accused of stonewalling that investigation. The controversy began when he refused to follow a Clinton executive order prohibiting discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in the civil service. He’s also the guy who oversaw the OSC Sternberg investigation, issuing a letter to him saying they believed he was discriminated against despite the fact that they never actually completed their investigation because it was outside their jurisdiction. Here are some details on the new allegations:
The Office of Personnel Management began the probe of Bloch in 2005 under Inspector General Patrick McFarland following a year of complaints by members of Congress, Federal Globe – the LGBT organization for federal civil servants, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – a watchdog group.
Now those groups say the Office of Special Counsel is trying to stonewall the investigation. This month employees at the agency were told to inform OSC management when they are contacted by investigators and that any contact with investigators must be in a special conference room at OSC headquarters.
And some information on how it all started:
The Office Of The Special Council is the agency that protects whistleblowers and investigates complaints of discrimination by federal workers, but, Bloch has refused to take on complaints of discrimination based on sexuality.
The OPM Inspector General investigation into Bloch is the third probe into Bloch’s operation.
The Government Accountability Office and a U.S. Senate subcommittee both have ongoing investigations into mass dismissal of hundreds of whistleblower cases, crony hires, and Bloch’s targeting of gay employees for removal while refusing to investigate cases involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Before being named Special Counsel by President Bush, Bloch served at the Justice Department’s Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives.
Bloch’s stonewalling complaints of discrimination by LGBT federal workers dates to February 2004 when he ordered references to sexual orientation removed from the Office of the Special Counsel website. Since 1998, when President Bill Clinton issued an executive order prohibiting bias in the civil service, the OSC has taken that to include sexuality.
A month after the references disappeared from the OSC website Bloch said gay workers were no longer protected.
Bloch is a serious religious right attack dog. I have a friend (who lurks here but shall remain nameless unless he chooses to reveal himself) who knows Bloch personally and says that, if anything, he’s even worse than these situations make him out to be. He’s basically Gribbit with a law degree.