As we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA let’s not forget about what happened earlier this week when Scott Bloch was sentenced to a meager one day in jail. Bloch was deputy director to the Department of Justice’s Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives, as well as Special Counsel at the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) during the Bush Administration. Bloch opposed the “homosexual agenda” and led the OSC to hire other lawyers that shared his view and would act accordingly.
The OSC is tasked with, among other things, protecting whistle-blowers. In the course of Bloch’s administration he not only turned a blind eye towards complaints about gay discrimination but is now convicted of having destroyed evidence related to his negligence.
The former head of the federal agency that protects government whistleblowers was sentenced Monday to two years of probation, including one day in jail, for having files erased from government computers.
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins reprimanded Scott J. Bloch, the Bush-era head of the Office of Special Counsel, for failing to “completely come clean” about why he had hired private technicians to scrub office computers and for misleading Congress when asked about his conduct.
One day, that’s it? Really?
Not only did Bloch destroy evidence, he misled Congress into how the OSC was dealing (or not dealing) with whistle-blowing complaints about sexual orientation discrimination. Bloch’s explanation for inaction was quite revealing.
Special counsel Scott J. Bloch told a Senate panel yesterday that he lacks the legal authority to enforce the Bush administration’s ban on discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation…
Since taking office in January 2004, the Bush appointee has been accused of failing to enforce a long-standing policy against bias in the federal workplace based on sexual orientation, unnecessarily reorganizing the OSC to try to run off internal critics, and arbitrarily dismissing some personnel complaints and whistle-blower disclosures in an effort to claim reductions in backlogs.
Bloch then misled Congress again as to how his computer files had been wiped of the evidence of his questionable enforcement of whistle-blower complaints on gay discrimination – ultimately leading to his conviction and subsequent sentence of one day in jail.
I’m glad to see the government takes computer crime so seriously when one of their own does it. Maybe if Aaron Swartz, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, or the numerous others who have been charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act had just destroyed evidence on a government computer they would have had nothing to worry about.
Photo from the Office of Special Counsel under Public Domain.