For the past couple of years, General Services Administration (GSA) chief Lurita Doan has been dogged by constant criticisms over her unethical politicization of the federal agency. Last May, the White House Office of Special Counsel found that she had violated the Hatch Act. In June, both the Special Counsel and House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) called on Doan to resign.
Belatedly, the White House has decided to take action. Officials summoned Doan to a meeting yesterday afternoon, at which she was asked to resign. From the e-mail she sent to GSA employees yesterday, in which she said she was privileged to serve such a “great President”:
The past twenty-two months have been filled with accomplishments: together, we have regained our clean audit opinion, restored fiscal discipline, re-tooled our ability to respond to emergencies, rekindled entrepreneurial energies, reduced bureaucratic barriers to small companies to get a GSA Schedule, ignited a building boom at our nation’s ports of entries, boldly led the nation in an aggressive telework initiative, and improved employee morale so that we were selected as one of the best places to work in the Federal government.
Thanks to Doan, the past 22 months have been filled with more scandal than “accomplishments.” Doan first gained notoriety for using a January 2007 teleconference to “ask senior GSA officials to help ‘our candidates’ in the next elections.”
Doan tried to make herself into a martyr, telling GovExec yesterday, “I would rather get fired for something I believe in, and a cause I was willing to fight for, rather than to believe in nothing worth being fired for.” It’s unclear what she was fighting for, other than electing Republicans and carrying out questionable battles with GSA’s inspector general (IG), who was cleared of any wrongdoing. (Doan once referred to IG employees as “terrorists.”)
As a final treat, here’s a ThinkProgress video highlighting Doan’s testimony to Congress:
Lurita Doan: truly the wind beneath our wings.
Nevar Says: “That’s the way the cookie crumbles…”