Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Report: GSA head violated Hatch Act

When last we left Lurita Doan, she was being investigated for (among other things) using her office for improper political purposes, in violation of the Hatch Act.

Now the investigation is over. It's conclusion? She broke the law.

An Office of Special Counsel report has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal officials from partisan political activity while on the job, sources say.

The report addresses a Jan. 26 lunch meeting at GSA headquarters attended by Doan and about 40 political appointees, some of whom participated by videoconference. During the meeting, Scott Jennings, the White House deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation that included slides listing Democratic and Republican seats the White House viewed as vulnerable in 2008, a map of contested Senate seats and other information on 2008 election strategy.

According to meeting participants, Doan asked after the call how GSA could help “our candidates.”

Now for the bad news:

After Doan responds, the report will be sent to President Bush with recommendations that could include suspension or termination. The president is not required to comply with the suggestions.

Yes, you read that right: punishment is entirely up to the president. This is the Bush administration, so I suppose it's quite possible she won't suffer any adverse effects. But I just can't bring myself to be that cynical. Look for her to resign or be fired sometime in June.

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