April 15, 2014
Next IEC Meeting: May 1, Arthur Goldberg from DOJ
The IEC program presenter for May 1 is Arthur Goldberg, the Assistant Director, Federal Programs Branch, Department of Justice. Among other duties, his office is responsible for prosecuting public financial disclosure filers that willfully fail to file public financial disclosure reports in a timely manner. Since we all review public financial disclosure reports, this should be of great interest to all federal ethics officials.
Meeting details: May 1, beginning at 12:15. Location: 1331 F Street, NW, U.S. Access Board, Floor 8.
April 11, 2014
MANANGEMENT ANALYST VACANCY AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENTAL ETHICS OFFICE
The subject Management Analyst position is located with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Ethics Division, Program Review Section, in Washington, D.C. The OGC Ethics Division is currently conducting a search to fill this position. The two vacancy announcements, links provided below, are open through Thursday, April 24, 2014, or the first 150 applicants (whichever comes first).
To view the two vacancy announcements for this position, visit the following two links:
April 10, 2014
Hatch Act Case Updates from OSC
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act, recently investigated several cases where Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees were alleged to have engaged in partisan political activity on duty and in the federal workplace. The case updates may be found here Download Hatch Act case updates
April 03, 2014
Presentation Slides from 4/3 IEC Meeting: Hatch Act Briefing
Please find slides from today's Hatch Act presentation here: Download IEC Hatch Act
April 02, 2014
New minimal value under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act ($375)
Today the Federal Register published the new minimal value which is now $375 for purposes of accepting a gift under 5 U.S.C. 7342, the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act.
March 31, 2014
USPS Workers Went Bowling, Gambling Using Agency Credit Cards
GovExec.com reports: U.S. Postal Service employees used agency credit cards to pay for gambling sprees, bowling games and personal travel, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.
One manager used her card to withdraw $32,000 in cash to gamble, according to Freedom of Information Act documents obtained by the Examiner. Closed investigations by the USPS inspector general found the manager also used her card to rent cars for personal use, charging the agency a total of $45,000 in personal expenses. The employee repaid the money and took an early retirement offer.
A second employee also withdrew $2,400 from her agency card to gamble. She too repaid the debt after initially claiming she used her government card accidentally. She has since been fired.
The Postal Service said the actions of a few do not represent its workforce of nearly 500,000. “We take any claim of employee misconduct very seriously,” USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer told Government Executive. “Cases like this are thoroughly investigated and action is then taken to ensure compliance with Postal Service policies as well as applicable state and federal laws. Postal Service employees are hard-working, responsible and exceptional employees.”
March 27, 2014
Commanders fired in nuke missile cheating scandal
The Washington Post reports:
The Air Force fired nine mid-level nuclear commanders Thursday and will discipline dozens of junior officers at a nuclear missile base in response to an exam-cheating scandal that spanned a far longer period than originally reported. Air Force officials called the moves unprecedented in the history of the intercontinental ballistic missile force.
The Associated Press last year revealed a series of security and other problems in the nuclear force, including a failed safety and security inspection at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., where the cheating happened.
In a bid to correct root causes of the missile corps’ failings — including low morale and weak management — the Air Force also announced a series of new or expanded programs to improve leadership development, to modernize the three ICBM bases and to reinforce “core values” including integrity.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, the service’s top civilian official, had promised to hold officers at Malmstrom accountable once the cheating investigation was completed and the scope of the scandal was clear. None of the nine fired commanders was directly involved in the cheating, but each was determined to have failed in his or her leadership responsibilities.
March 26, 2014
DEPUTY DIRECTOR VACANCY AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DEPARTMENTAL ETHICS OFFICE
The U.S. Department of Justice, Departmental Ethics Office (DEO) is seeking candidates for a challenging and dynamic, full-time, GS-15 Supervisory Attorney-Advisor (Deputy Director of DEO) position in its Washington, DC office. DEO administers the Department-wide ethics program. DEO offers advice and guidance to Department employees and managers on the interpretation and application of the Federal ethics statutes, rules and regulations, it administers the financial disclosure program, and it provides ethics training. This position includes being the first-line supervisor for the DEO staff. DOJ is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals interested in applying should visit the vacancy posting at
Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, April 21, 2014.
Attorneys ask judge to try former Va. governor and his wife separately
Former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife want separate trials on the federal corruption charges they both are facing, saying in court filings late Tuesday that a joint proceeding would prevent Maureen McDonnell, in particular, from taking the witness stand to exonerate her husband.
The filings — which came on the same day that the couple’s attorneys asked a judge to toss the charges against them outright — suggest that Maureen McDonnell is willing to testify that her husband was largely in the dark about her interactions with Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., and that the couple could not have engaged in a conspiracy to lend the prestige of the governor’s office to Williams’s struggling dietary supplement company, Star Scientific.
Prosecutors alleged such a conspiracy in January, when the McDonnells were charged in a 14-count indictment that accused them of receiving gifts and loans from Williams totaling at least $165,000. In exchange, prosecutors alleged, Robert McDonnell hosted a product launch for Star’s dietary supplement, Anatabloc; promoted it at public events; arranged meetings between Williams and senior state health officials; and worked with his wife to encourage state researchers to consider conducting trials of the product. The McDonnells have pleaded not guilty and a trial is scheduled to begin in July.
March 20, 2014
Former Congressional Chief of Staff Sued Over Financial Disclosure Filing Failure
The Legal Times reports: The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a former congressional chief of staff for allegedly failing to file a financial disclosure report. Joseph Hunter, who served as chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, never filed a final financial disclosure when he left Congress in January 2009, according to the civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In an email, Hunter said he thought he had filed the disclosure at issue and that "any oversight on my part is purely inadvertent." He said he would be contacting the Justice Department right away to resolve the problem.
From 2009 to 2012, the House Committee on Ethics sent annual letters asking him to send the disclosure, with no success, according to the complaint. The committee sent a final notice in August 2012, which, the Justice Department alleged, Hunter acknowledged receiving by signing a certified mail receipt. Hunter faces a maximum civil penalty of $50,000. Hunter did not have an attorney listed and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. He recently has served as communications director for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The case hasn't been assigned to a judge and no hearings are scheduled.