November 21, 2014

Vacancy Announcement – Attorney-Advisor, Ethics & General Legal Services, Office of Chief Counsel, Transportation Security Administration. (Salary Range: K Band - $107,033 -$165,907).

TSA’s Office of Chief Counsel is looking to hire a motivated and highly-qualified full-time attorney to join the Ethics and General Legal Services Section, General Law Division.  TSA Ethics & General Legal Services attorneys provide ethics advice, counseling, and training to TSA employees at all levels of the organization.  Applicants must have a minimum of 3 years substantive legal work experience in federal agency ethics.  Further, applicants must be at the GS-14 level (or equivalent) or above for at least one year prior to the closing date of this announcement.  Applicants should also possess the ability to supervise the work of others.


TSA is on a special pay scale.  This position is at the K-band level with a salary range of  $107,-33 -$165,907.  To be considered for the position, please forward a resume, no later than Friday, December 5, 2014 to Mary Kate Whalen, Deputy General Counsel for General Law through Valerie Blocker at    

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

Next IEC Meeting: December 4; Travel Updates

Please join us at the next IEC meeting where Lenny Lowentritt, Deputy General Counsel at GSA, will discuss the latest in the travel rules.  Mr. Lowentritt asks that you bring questions to the meeting!  

December 4 at U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Washington, Floor 8 at 12:15.  

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

November 17, 2014

IG: Energy Lab Lobbied Officials for $2.4 Billion No-Bid Contract reports:  

Federal investigators say employees at Sandia National Laboratories used taxpayer funds to lobby members of Congress and senior department officials to extend the lab’s management contract with Lockheed Martin Corp.—valued at $2.4 billion annually—without opening it up for competition.

“The use of federal funds for the development of a plan to influence members of Congress and federal officials to, in essence, prevent competition was inexplicable and unjustified,” Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman concluded after conducting a special inquiry into the allegations. The IG’s Nov. 7 report was released Wednesday.  

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources | Permalink

November 10, 2014

Attorney-Advisor Opening at National Science Foundation

The link to the position may be found here

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 30, 2014

Next IEC Meeting: November 6

Our November speaker will be Dave Apol, General Counsel at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.  Mr. Apol will discuss a variety of OGE topics of interest.  

The meeting will be held at 12:15 at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW Washington DC, Floor 8.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General

The New York Times reports:  

When the executives who distribute 5-Hour Energy, the popular caffeinated drinks, learned that attorneys general in more than 30 states were investigating allegations of deceptive advertising — a serious financial threat to the company — they moved quickly to shut the investigations down, one state at a time.

But success did not come in court or at a negotiating table.

Instead, it came at the opulent Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California, with its panoramic ocean views, where more than a dozen state attorneys general had gathered last year for cocktails, dinners and fund-raisers organized by the Democratic Attorneys General Association. A lawyer for 5-Hour Energy roamed the event, setting her sights on Attorney General Chris Koster of Missouri, whose office was one of those investigating the company.

The quick reversal, confirmed by Mr. Koster and Ms. Kalani, was part of a pattern of successful lobbying of Mr. Koster by the law firm on behalf of clients like Pfizer and AT&T — and evidence of a largely hidden dynamic at work in state attorneys general offices across the country.

Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use campaign contributions, personal appeals at lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal regulators, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

A robust industry of lobbyists and lawyers has blossomed as attorneys general have joined to conduct multistate investigations and pushed into areas as diverse as securities fraud and Internet crimes.

But unlike the lobbying rules covering other elected officials, there are few revolving-door restrictions or disclosure requirements governing state attorneys general, who serve as “the people’s lawyers” by protecting consumers and individual citizens.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Gifts, Issues: Revolving Door | Permalink

October 28, 2014

OSC Files Complaint for Disciplinary Action in Hatch Act Case

On October 22, 2014, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) filed a complaint for disciplinary action with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) against James Murry, an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for violating the Hatch Act.
The employee, a maintenance mechanic for USACE, is currently an independent candidate in the partisan election for sheriff in Jefferson County, Arkansas. He filed his notice of candidacy in defiance of repeated advice from both USACE and OSC that the Hatch Act prohibited him from running while he is a federal employee. In order to run in a partisan election, Mr. Murry was notified that he must resign from federal employment. He refused to do so, or to drop out of the race.
Moreover, he hosted a fundraiser in support of his campaign even though USACE had circulated regular notices to employees about the Hatch Act’s restrictions on political activity.  
The Hatch Act prohibits employees from being candidates in partisan elections – even as independent candidates – and from knowingly soliciting, accepting, or receiving political contributions from any person.  In its complaint, OSC charged the employee with violating both of these prohibitions and asked the MSPB to order appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Hatch Act. Available penalties include suspension, removal from employment, debarment from federal service, or a civil fine.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Hatch Act | Permalink

October 20, 2014


The USDA Office of Ethics is seeking a motivated and highly-qualified candidate for an exciting, full-time, GS-15 position as Deputy Director in its Washington, DC office.  The Office of Ethics is responsible for providing ethics advice and services to all agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture.  USDA is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals interested in applying should visit the vacancy posting at USAJobs:

Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, November 7, 2014.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 07, 2014

Ethics Positions Open at USDA

There are two vacancies at the USDA Office of the General Counsel.  They may be found at USAJobs here

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 01, 2014

Attorney Opening at Departmental Ethics Office, U.S. Department of Justice

The Departmental Ethics Office, U.S. Department of Justice, has posted an Attorney opening, closing October 22.  The position is a GS 13/14 with promotion potential to GS-15.  The job description and details may be found here.    

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink