White House forces OSC chief out

OSC photo

The White House on Thursday forced out the embattled head of the Office of Special Counsel, according to several sources.

A White House spokeswoman said Special Counsel Scott Bloch voluntarily resigned during a meeting on Thursday morning. Bloch will be on administrative leave until Dec. 12, which the spokeswoman said is the official end of his five-year term.

The resignation letter Bloch submitted on Monday misstated that his term would end on Jan. 5, 2009, the spokeswoman said.

The White House said William Reukauf, who had been serving as associate special counsel and director of field operations, has been named the acting special counsel and will remain in that role until a permanent replacement is appointed by the next administration.

Reukauf has served as interim special counsel on several occasions, including when the term of Elaine Kaplan ended in 2003 and before Bloch was confirmed by the Senate.

According to the office's Web site, Reukauf joined the legal staff of OSC in January 1983. He was appointed associate special counsel for prosecution in February 1985. In 2001, he became the head of an investigation and prosecution division. He also is in charge of OSC's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. Bloch is under federal investigation for possible obstruction of justice for destroying computer files sought by investigators in a prior probe into whether he retaliated illegally against whistleblowers in his office.

Dan Friedman of CongressDaily contributed to this report.

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