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This Bloch Party’s Over

Scott Bloch, director of the Office of Special Counsel, is now set to resign, effective Jan. 5. Bloch has drawn some unwanted attention to the federal agency that investigates whistleblower complaints from federal employees, including examples of partisan politicking in the bureaucracy. He hired “Geeks on Call” to scrub his computer files and was subject to an FBI raid of his office and home.

Even these individual stories, though, don’t do justice to Bloch’s strange four-year career at OSC. He first raised eyebrows by reportedly refusing to investigate whistleblower complaints by homosexuals and stocking the OSC staff with religious conservatives.

Bloch went three years without investigating reports that the White House’s political arm, led by Karl Rove, was manipulating the civil service for partisan ends. Finally, last year, he investigated Lurita Doan, head of the General Services Admin., and found that Doan violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits the politicization of federal agencies.

In nabbing Doan, who was perceived, fairly or not, as a prototypical Bush crony, Bloch seemed to have turned his career around. But then it turned out that Bloch had been actively stopping OSC employees from investigating other possible Hatch Act violations.

Lawmakers from both parties had long since called on Bloch to resign. Now five months after Doan resigned, the person who precipitated her downfall is leaving as well.

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