Scott Bloch, Chutzpa is Thy Name

Filed in National by on May 12, 2011

A few years ago, I wrote about Scott Bloch, the former head of the Office of Special Counsel under the Bush administration. The OSC was set up to protect Federal government whistleblowers, investigate prohibited personnel practices, and prosecute violations of the Hatch Act. When Bloch was appointed, one of the first things he did was to issue a ruling that a long-standing government policy regarding prohibited personnel practices (dating from 1980) could no longer be used by gay and lesbian Federal employees complaining about unfair treatment. He also ruled that the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) policy on discrimination based on sexual orientation, issued in 1998, was no longer enforceable.

After weighing in on these issues, Bloch started purging the OSC of any employees who dissented from his views. He reassigned DC-based employees to Dallas, Oakland, and Detroit. Since these were directed reassignments, employees had the choice of moving, quitting, or finding a job with a different agency. He purged about 25 employees from the DC-office. All of this led to charges being made against him by various organizations and employees. He was investigated by OPM’s Inspector General for malfeasance and was subpoenaed to testify before Congress. Which leads us to today.

In March, Bloch pled guilty to one count of contempt of Congress (yeah, I know, many of us hold Congress in contempt) for hiring Geeks on Call to come into his office and scrub his government computers, then lying about it by claiming they had to clean up a virus. Um, Scott, that’s why there are IT people at OSC. He tried to back out of his guilty plea, claiming that he didn’t know he would have to serve one month in prison, but his motion was denied.

Last week, in what has to be the ultimate show of chutzpa, Bloch sued a number of people and government agencies for $200 million under the RICO statutes. From the Washington Post:

Bloch, who was appointed by President Bush to head an agency that protects government whistleblowers and enforces the law against political activity in government agencies, has filed a 63-page, $202 million lawsuit against top Bush adviser Karl Rove, former Virginia congressman Tom Davis and dozens of others for allegedly trying to thwart his office’s efforts. When they failed, he claims, they launched a bogus criminal investigation to drive him out of his job.

He filed the case in Fairfax County (VA) Circuit Court. Some lawyer Bloch is. He should know that when suing Federal officials and using Federal statutes, he needs to file the case in Federal court, not state court. Bloch is claiming that some vast, right-wing conspiracy existed between Karl Rove, former Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA), the Human Rights Campaign, the Government Accountability Project and other groups, that undermined his and his wife’s reputation. I don’t know about you, but I seriously doubt that Rove and Davis were planning anything with HRC and GAP. Scotty, you undermined your own reputation by being such a pigheaded fool who decided to ignore Federal laws and regulations. In my opinion, one month in jail is not enough.

Bloch is representing himself in the suit. What’s that old adage? Oh I know – a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Maybe Bloch could call up Jonathon Moseley to represent him. I don’t think he’s too busy (unless there’s been a rash of accidents in Northern Virginia).

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A rabble-rousing bureaucrat living in Sussex County

Comments (6)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Bush sure brought in a bunch of winners. A Heritage Foundation internship on your resume was a golden ticket.

  2. cassandra m says:

    I don’t know.

    This reads like he is forming a GOP Presidential Exploration Committee to me.

  3. MJ says:

    Bloch was one of the ultimate losers that W installed.

  4. cassandra m says:

    “Ultimate loser” was something of a BushCo bar you had to cross in order to make their employable list, really. There were a few exceptions, but they worked overtime to load the government up with as many losers as they could.

  5. MJ says:

    Losers and thieves. The head of OPM, Kay James, used to demand that she get 2 hotel rooms when she traveled, one to work in and one to sleep in, and wanted an entire row of the plane so no one could sit next to her. And she wanted the government to reimburse her entourage for tux rentals when they went to political events in conjunction with “official travel.” Thankfully I was working in the CFO’s office and denied these requests.

  6. pprados says:

    The lawsuit covers numerous causes of action in addition to the RICO claims. I generally agree the case should have been filed in federal court. Ultimately I do not think a state court judge will entertain a writ of mandamus to force a federal actor to perform particular duties.

    The 64 page Complaint is a fascinating read. It does omit discussion of the criminal charges and sentencing which are very recent.

    I’ll cover the case as it unfolds. My initial take on the complaint can be found here:
    http://northernvirginialawyer.blogspot.com/2011/05/fairfax-county-circuit-court-to-host.html

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