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The whistleblower matters reported in your article were under my tenure, not under Ms. Kaplan. The FAA matter was a new claim of near misses at an airport which I have sent to the President, as well as a whistleblower retaliation case we are handling for the whistleblower. The aircraft carrier case was not the one she approved, but rather a second case and another aircraft carrier. The food safety was a claim approved under my tenure, the TSA screener who complained of an assault rifle brought into the work place and who was reprised against is under my tenure, the improper mounting of the engine on the C5-A Galaxy, all were under my tenure, not Ms. Kaplan’s. The nuclear facilities danger straddled both our tenures. While she substantiated the claim to require the agency to investigate, I addressed the proposed response of the agency in its investigation and reported to the President and Congress.
I am pleased that Ms. Kaplan believes the place a lawyer attended law school or the employee’s philosophy is irrelevant. What is relevant, she argues, is ability and qualifications. My hires have been highly qualified and have been praised as top performers. I do not employ religious tests, and our hires represent a wide cross section of philosophies, politics, and, I would guess, faiths. The hiring has been done with the input of senior and mid-level managers, with some employees hired solely on the recommendation of career employees and senior managers and no input from anyone else. The ultimate decision is mine to actually adopt their recommendation and hire the employee (which was also true of Ms. Kaplan).
We have used competition to hire certain employees, and we have a competitive hiring committee to review many resumes that have been assembled by staff. The statements to the contrary are unfortunate. Each of the hires was done pursuant to civil service law, rule and regulation, and was signed off on by the director of Human Resources. Ms. Kaplan says that her hires of union employees was done through competition, though again it is true that the ones who won those competitions happened to come from where she had most recently worked, the union. One was her political appointee who competed for a senior executive career position, but the decision to hire him was hers. It was legal for her to do that, but she was subject to criticism for favoritism and political cronyism then as now.
Some people will criticize you if you turn left, right or middle. Some for not turning at all. That is the nature of the job. As a former special counsel told me before I entered service, “I hope you do not need to be liked.” How true that has turned out to be. One must act according to principle, and not according to the way the winds are blowing. Still, it is unfortunate now that some outside interest groups with an axe to grind are trying to make it look like the office has suffered, when in fact the dedicated civil servants should be credited with truly having the interests of federal employees at heart and doing an increasingly good job of tending to those interests. Truth matters in our work, and it would be nice if it mattered more often to the advocacy groups, the mainstream press and some Members of Congress.p> Scott J. Bloch br> Special Counsel br> Office of Special Counsel br> Washington, D.C. /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?