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Project on Government Oversight

Deputy Criticizes Office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch in Resignation Letter

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July 17, 2008

In an extraordinary swan song, U.S. Office of Special Counsel Deputy Jim Byrne issued a letter to his former boss Scott Bloch last week when he resigned making it clear where the agency's problems lie:

"Upon my departure, I am obligated to note that the mission, independence, and very existence of the Office of Special Counsel are--and shall remain--at risk unless and until this agency is afforded a presidentially appointed, senate confirmed leader who is capable of putting OSC's mission and OSC's people ahead of political agendas and personal vendettas."

News media are starting to report the story. Here is a full copy of the letter.

The departure of Byrne announced last week is yet another sign that the agency is in a downward spiral. Bloch has been the target in recent months of a Grand Jury investigation and an unprecedented raid involving two dozen FBI agents of his home, office, and person.

Today, POGO wrote to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten to urge that the President remove Bloch, or at least put him on administrative leave. POGO cited the inability of the agency to fulfill its mission, the refusal of other agencies to comply with investigations, and concerns about intimidation or interference with staff witnesses who are being supervised by Bloch while also testifying or providing evidence in his case. The full text of that letter can be found here

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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