08/28/12 Accountability


There’s a major sex scandal rocking the Department of Homeland Security.  There are allegations of sexual harassment, demands for sexual favors and sexual discrimination.  Alleged perpetrators are in Secretary Janet Napolitano’s inner circle.

The federal government has requested the judge handling a related lawsuit block out the most embarrassing details.  Too late.  We’ve got the lawsuit on our website.

This is a growing trend. The federal government tries to hide the identities of employees who misbehave — even criminal conduct such as stealing thousands of dollars.  They have a right to privacy — the government argues.

Too often, government employees who commit criminal acts don’t even lose their jobs.  We examined one agency.  After it was proved workers stole from the government nearly one-half received no punishment whatsoever.  They merely repaid the money they stole.

A federal court agreed with blocking out names in one case involving loss of life.   The court argued identifying the guilty might subject them to unnecessary “embarrassment.”  Maybe they deserve embarrassment.

State governments are just as bad.  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is fighting to keep private the government email addresses and phone numbers of state employees.

“Hey, governor.  The public is not an interruption to the daily routine.  They’re the reason for it.”