When GSA administrator Lurita Doan appeared before the House oversight committee in March, she could remember there were “cookies on the table” during one of her meetings, and that she was seated next to a “young perky looking” woman. And that was about it.
She repeatedly claimed ignorance about the partisan PowerPoint presentation that was delivered to her agency’s employees, and her statement afterwards asking fellow GSA officials how they could “help ‘our candidates‘ in the next elections.”
Now she has to explain herself again. In a letter today, oversight chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) called on Doan to testify on June 7 about a new Office of Special Counsel (OSC) report stating that her partisan activities violated federal law.
Waxman specifically wants to know why, during interviews with the OSC, Doan tried to tar the GSA officials who spoke out about her partisan activities. Doan told investigators:
[T]here’s not a single one of those who did not have somewhere in between a poor to totally inferior performance … . [S]ome of the most vocal proponents or the most articulate speaking out against me are also the people who are people I’ve either moved on or they are, I don’t want to say permanently demoted but they’re kind of, until extensive rehabilitation of their performance occurs, they will not be getting promoted and they will not be getting bonuses or special awards or anything of that nature.’
But according to the OSC investigation, the performance reviews of all these employees were positive. Waxman now wants question Doan about whether she is retaliating against these people for cooperating with the investigation. Waxman writes:
Your allegations are also a matter of grave concern to me. Government employees who cooperate with congressional and federal investigations perform a vital service to the nation. It would be a serious abuse if your statements were part of an effort to retaliate against these witnesses for cooperating with the Oversight Committee’s investigation.