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.
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.
October 28, 2014
OSC Files Complaint for Disciplinary Action in Hatch Act Case
October 20, 2014
DEPUTY DIRECTOR VACANCY AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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.
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
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.
Ex-GSA Executive Jeff Neely Indicted for Fraud
Jeff Neely, the General Services Administration executive viewed as the ringleader of the lavish spending on a 2010 training conference in Las Vegas, was indicted on five counts of fraud on Thursday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco.
The 59-year-old former head of region nine of the Public Building Service faces charges of making fraudulent reimbursement claims and false statements, according to an announcement from United States Attorney Melinda Haag of Northern California and GSA Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge David House.
Neely is “alleged to have fraudulently sought reimbursement for personal travel and expenses—incurred in Las Vegas, Nev.; Long Beach, Calif.; Guam; and Saipan—by submitting false and fraudulent claims to the United States,” the announcement said. “The indictment further alleges that, when GSA employees questioned him about these expenses, Neely falsely represented that the costs were incurred for official government business.”
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000 for each violation.
Slides for Thursday IEC Meeting
Find the presentation slides for Thursday's meeting here: Download Interagency Ethics Council (Oct 2014)
September 26, 2014
DOD- Paralegal Specialist Opening
The Department of Defense Defense Legal Services Agency has a Paralegal Specialist opening, closing on October 7. See the USAJobs link here
September 12, 2014
IEC Meeting: October 2; Mr. Rodney Grandon, Air Force Deputy General Counsel for Contractor Responsibility
Please join us for the next IEC meeting on October 2, featuring speaker Rodney Grandon.
Mr. Grandon is the Air Force's Deputy General Counsel for Contractor Responsibility, and he serves as the Air Force's Suspending and Debarring Official. His comments will provide an overview of contractor responsibility, as structured by Subpart 9.4 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Starting with the notion that the US Government does business only with responsible contractors, the discussion will explore what the Air Force, as a customer, expects from its contractors in terms of performance, compliance, and ethics. The discussion also will address steps taken by industry to promote "best practices" in the areas of compliance and ethics, with a focus on how the defense industry has embraced values-based ethics as a "best practice." Notwithstanding the best compliance and ethics programs, contractors will continue to experience misconduct within their organizations. The discussion will explore the need for suspension and debarment when contractor misconduct is identified, focusing on the tools and the steps necessary to determine whether there is a need to protect the government from non-responsible contractors through suspension and debarment.
The meeting will be held at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Floor 8, at 12:15. See you there!