"Former Bush Official Devised Plan To ‘Ship Out’ Gay Staff, IG Report Finds"
CREDIT: Associated Press
A former George W. Bush lawyer who is serving probation time over a charge of destroying government property and was under federal investigation for corruption also developed a plan to reassign all gay staff to an office outside of Washington, D.C., according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general.
Scott Bloch, former head of the Office of Special Counsel, created a new field office in Detroit where he re-assigned gay employees out of “anti-gay animus,” according to the report. The investigation also found that Bloch told a government contractor he planned to “ship out” these employees, and “had a license to do this,” Legal Times reports. The reassignments, according to a letter accompanying the report were “apparently designed to target the removal” of these employees, “without regard to the operational needs of the agency.”
Bloch was responsible for the office charged with protecting all federal employees, particularly whistleblowers. But he resigned in October 2008 amidst whistleblower allegations that he retaliated against his own employees who disagreed with his policies. As early as 2005, complaints filed against him by former employees also alleged that he misused his office by declining to pursue allegations of sexual orientation discrimination, dismissing hundreds of whistleblower and discrimination complaints without investigation, and issuing illegal gag orders. The investigation also addressed these allegations, but found the complaints could not be proved.
The report adds to evidence of gross misconduct by Bloch during the five years he presided over the office. Earlier this year, Bloch pleaded guilty to destroying government property for using an outside computer to delete files from work computers. The destruction was believed to be connected to the OPM investigation.