The Government Publishing Office, formerly known as the Government Printing Office.

The Government Publishing Office, formerly known as the Government Printing Office. Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com

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Trump Withdraws Nominee to Lead Publishing Office

Former public printer and Hill staffer had spent a year in limbo.

The White House on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of its nominee to be director of the Government Publishing Office, a year after his initial nomination, and six months after news reports of alleged mismanagement at the agency.

No explanation was given for the cancelled nomination, first filed in June 2018 and renewed in January 2019 for the new Congress. GPO posted a press release, but would not comment further on reasons for the change.

Robert Tapella was formerly the public printer and more recently was an oversight professional staff member on the House Administration Committee. Staff on the panel said he no longer works there.

GPO is currently being run on an acting basis by John Crawford, acting deputy director and managing director of plant operations. There are three other acting leaders among GPO’s top 17 slots.

Former Director Davita Vance-Cooks left in November 2017 and went to work for Grant Thornton LLP, and acting deputy director Herbert Jackson retired in March. Both were subject to investigations by the inspector general for alleged misuse of funds and hiring procedures.

Tapella, while awaiting confirmation, had told the GPO inspector general last fall that he would cooperate with any probes.