Lawmaker presses OSC chief to hand over e-mails

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., wants more information on any work-related messages Special Counsel Scott Bloch sent via a personal account.

The head of the Office of Special Counsel is facing questions from members of his own political party on his office's handling of an investigation into a potential violation of the law limiting politics in federal agencies.

In a letter Friday, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked Special Counsel Scott Bloch to hand over certain e-mails sent from his personal AOL account that relate to official OSC matters. The e-mails would help determine whether Bloch conducted work through personal e-mail or engaged in prohibited lobbying, Davis said.

In a second letter Friday, Davis posed a wide range of questions stemming from a hearing last week on Bloch's leadership. During the July 12 hearing, Davis revealed that Bloch had sent at least one e-mail from his AOL account related to official business.

The message -- sent June 19 -- discussed the pending reauthorization of OSC, the agency charged with safeguarding the federal merit system. The message also criticized General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan, who OSC investigated for alleged violations of the Hatch Act. And it criticized two members of Congress with oversight responsibility for OSC.

"We have received the letters from Rep. Davis, but we will not be commenting at this time," said James Mitchell, an OSC spokesman.

In a third letter Thursday, Davis asked Randy Falco, chairman and chief executive officer of AOL, to protect and preserve all e-mail records associated with Bloch's account.

Work-related messages sent from private accounts may not get preserved as required by the Federal Records Act, and they also may not be accessible to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, Davis said.

Last month, Bloch sent a report to the White House concluding that Doan violated the Hatch Act and recommending that President Bush discipline her "to the fullest extent" for the violation and her failure to cooperate fully and honestly with OSC's investigation.

OSC found that Doan violated the Hatch Act at a Jan. 26 meeting at the agency's headquarters. During that meeting, attended by Doan and more than 30 political appointees, Scott Jennings, a deputy to Karl Rove, the leading political strategist at the White House, presented a PowerPoint presentation that listed Republican and Democratic political races viewed by the White House as most vulnerable in 2008. Doan asked Jennings how GSA could help Republicans, according to OSC.

The White House has received OSC's report, but a spokeswoman said Thursday the findings still are being reviewed. The report was delivered to President Bush six weeks ago. The spokeswoman has noted the White House has no deadline for completing its review.

Bloch's office also is heading up a governmentwide investigation of alleged violations of the Hatch Act that could go "well into 2008," according to an OSC spokesman. The White House revealed in May that federal agencies hosted about 20 briefings in 2006 and 2007 similar to the one at the heart of the Doan investigation.

Eighteen agencies have been asked by OSC to preserve electronic information dating back to January 2001, including all e-mail records, calendar information, phone logs and hard drives. The task force is headed by James Byrne, deputy special counsel at OSC.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.