Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scott Bloch wants your money

Disgraced former head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Scott Bloch is seeking donations from the American public to help with his legal bills. His shameless audacity is simply mind-boggling.

On April 27, 2010 Scott J. Bloch, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress. Under his leadership, the historically inept OSC reached new lows. Bloch was accused of the following:
  • Knowingly and willfully ignoring whistleblower disclosures;
  • Dismissing and closing hundreds of whistleblowing complaints without investigation;
  • Deleting hundreds of files pertaining to whistleblowing disclosures and complaints of retaliation and reprisal;
  • Rolling back protections for federal employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation;
  • Staffing key OSC positions with cronies who shared his discriminatory views;
  • Engaging in retaliatory activities against OSC staffers who opposed his wrongdoing;
  • Assigning interns to issue closure letters in hundreds of whistleblower complaints without investigation;
  • Intimidating OSC employees from cooperating with government investigators;
  • Misusing prosecutorial power for political purposes;
  • Reducing the backlog of cases pending at the OSC by 56% percent by closing cases without an investigation and destroying electronic files;
  • During the fiscal year of 2008, the OSC filed 0 corrective action petitions with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB);
  • During the fiscal year of 2008, the OSC obtained 0 stays from the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB);
  • Bloch reassigned his perceived critics within the OSC to field offices across the country – giving them 10 days to accept, or else they'd be fired;
  • Bloch imposed retaliatory transfers upon OSC staffers he perceived as having a "homosexual agenda";
  • OSC under Bloch rarely recognized legitimate whistleblowers, typically only when the whistleblower has already prevailed elsewhere.
Bloch’s defense attorney, William Sullivan Jr., a Winston & Strawn partner in Washington, DC had the audacity to state in court papers that Bloch has “served with distinction” as the head of the OSC. "Glad this matter is behind us, and Mr. Bloch is looking forward to getting on with his life," Sullivan said as he walked with Scott Bloch to the probation office.

Bloch’s victims don’t have the same luxury of moving on with their lives, as they have been continually oppressed with no recourse throughout the OSC’s existence. Many of them have lost their jobs and life savings, defending themselves from retaliatory investigations, malicious prosecutions, baseless transfers, unwarranted demotions, suspensions, unjustified firings and other reprisals by their respective government agencies. Whistlebowers suffer irreparable emotional damage, often losing families and relationships in the process of fighting for their lives. At the same time, the OSC - the very agency purportedly created to protect whistleblowers - was tutoring agency managers on how to get rid of inconvenient, outspoken employees.

Office of Special Counsel (OSC) – the dark legacy

Office of Special Counsel's War On Whistleblowers

United States Office of Special Counsel

Under Bloch’s leadership, employment rights attorneys were advising their clients to submit their complaints to the OSC simply “to obtain the pro forma closure letter” as it was guaranteed that the OSC would not investigate or take action in any complaints. The only time the OSC jumped on board is when the matter at issue was already investigated by another entity and received attention from the media.

Even after his guilty plea and conviction, Bloch is facing mere probation. He is currently working as an employment attorney at the Tarone & McLaughlin LLP law firm in Washington, DC.

After leaving whistleblowers high and dry throughout his tenure at the OSC, now Bloch would like his victims to pitch in and help pay his criminal defense bills. Visit the website aptly entitled “Scott Bloch Legal Defense Trust,” encouraging donations from the American public to help Bloch with his legal defense fees.

Scott Bloch Legal Defense Trust

The website describes Bloch as a “trustworthy”, “honorable” “man of integrity who is suffering as the result of standing up to various special interests groups and powerful government authorities.” Sounds familiar? It seems that Mr. Bloch now fancies himself to be a whistleblower who “must rely on the generosity of citizens to support and defend him in this very difficult time.”

The website continues to explain that “Experienced criminal law attorneys are necessary to deal with the crushing legal burden of government investigators, prosecutors, Congressional investigators, and inspectors general. The cumulative effect of all of this is far too expensive for an ordinary citizen like Mr. Bloch to handle financially on his own.” Of course, all whistleblowers understand what a crushing burden that is – especially that neither Mr. Bloch, nor the OSC helped any of them, while the OSC destroyed their complaints or callously closed them without an investigation.

Scott Bloch donation website exclaims, “Every amount helps. Whether it's ten dollars or five hundred (or more), whatever you can afford sends a positive message of your support for Scott Bloch and the importance of doing what is right despite the cost.”

Gil Bailie, Founder of the Cornerstone Forum wants us all to be grateful to Mr. Bloch. He writes, "I know Scott to be a man of high principle and great courage. He deserves gratitude from all who pine for more people in government service who understand the nature of the cultural challenges we are now enduring."

To add insult to injury, Bloch is currently working as a practicing employment attorney at the Tarone & McLaughlin LLP law firm in DC. The areas of his specialty are: “Employment discrimination, federal rights, personnel law, whistleblower retaliation, public policy retaliation.”

Tarone & McLaughlin LLP

The law firm’s website boasts that Bloch and his team “recently obtained settlement of a national consumer class action against General Motors (in re Dex Cool) that was valued at $300 million”. Bloch professes to believe “in aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of those whose rights have been denied, economically, personally, and constitutionally.”

Bloch’s criminal attorney, William Sullivan of Winston & Strawn in Washington, said, "Now it is time for Scott to move forward and to pursue the best interests of his private clients with the same vigor he displayed in promoting the welfare of the citizens of the United States." Bloch exclaims, “My whole career has been dedicated to bringing expeditious justice to those who have been denied justice." This is especially ironic, since justice to whistleblowers Bloch was appointed to protect was denied by Bloch himself and through his criminal doings.

Now Scott Bloch wants you to pay for his legal defense against criminal charges, after he pleaded guilty to having violated your rights. He must be joking.

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