By Robert Brodsky
Longtime federal watchers will remember there's no love lost between ex-General Services Administration Administrator Lurita Doan and Scott Bloch, the former head of the Office of Special Counsel. Back in May 2008, Bloch Doan found that Doan violated the Hatch Act for allegedly engaging in partisan political activity during a meeting at GSA's headquarters. Bloch also suggested that Doan should be punished for failing to cooperate with OSC's investigation.
Not surprisingly, Doan is taking a bit of pleasure in news that Bloch is expected to plead guilty this week to withholding information from congressional investigators regarding allegations he used a private technology company to delete files on his work computer. She also has some pointed words for the media. In an e-mail to Government Executive on Monday, Doan says that:
Most have forgotten that Mr. Bloch was desperate to erase those files in order to cover his biased, flawed investigations. But, a much larger story still remains: What happens when those responsible for 'oversight' go too far, falsify records, lie to Congress, conduct propaganda campaigns posting bogus blogs on websites, such as GovExec, for their own, narrow, self-serving purposes? Scott Bloch offers a pointed example (and warning) to anyone that thinks all 'oversight' is consistently unbiased, competent, or free of taint.
I find it ironic that when Mr. Bloch suddenly emerged with conjured up charges against me, folks at the Washington Post and The New York Times found space on page one, and in their editorials, gobbling up and swallowing whole, everything that Mr. Bloch had said. And yet, now that, by his own admission, Mr. Bloch is revealed as a contemptible liar, we see hardly a drop of ink on the issue, much less any sort of apology for their own rush to judgment. Of course, this is not the first time there has been a double standard, and I fear it will not be the last.
Grudges die hard in Washington politics. And, as the English author Sir Thomas Browne once said "Women do most delight in revenge."
Updated, With a Note From Robert Brodsky: As the author of this blog post, I apologize to both Ms. Doan and to Gov Exec readers for what I agree in hindsight was an inappropriate comment at the end of this story. Sometimes, we in the media business, myself included, attempt unnecessarily to spice up news that should speak for itself. Ms. Doan's comments have no relation to her gender. The comment was thoughtless and unnecessary.