By Christian A. Weideman, deputy general counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury - 07/17/12 11:22 PM EDT
Employee misconduct not a widespread issue at Treasury
The Hill’s story about Treasury Department Inspector General reports regarding employee misconduct (“FOIA docs reveal Treasury officials cited for soliciting prostitutes, accepting gifts,” July 15) — together with your reporter’s statements on television — creates a misleading impression of widespread unethical behavior at this department. This is simply not accurate.
Here are the facts. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released 11 investigative reports covering conduct that occurred as early as 2000. In four cases, the OIG concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations. In one case, the misconduct was committed by a private citizen (a Treasury office was burglarized). That leaves six cases in question. Although any misconduct is unacceptable, this is a small number that does not fairly reflect a department with tens of thousands of employees. None of the employees at issue were political appointees or senior officials, and there is absolutely no evidence of any pattern or trend.
As your story notes, the OIG referred all six cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for potential criminal prosecution. As Treasury’s Inspector General also stated, however, the actions of a few should not tarnish the vast majority of employees who comply with government ethics laws. Accordingly, we believe that sensationalizing these reports — in an apparent effort to attract attention — is irresponsible and does a disservice to Treasury, the Inspector General and the overwhelming majority of the department’s employees, who serve the American people with professionalism, diligence and integrity.
NRA not pushing limits by scoring vote on Holder
I’m writing to express the National Rifle Association’s sharp opposition to Juan Williams’s accusation that the NRA is pushing the limits of power by scoring members of Congress on their vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt (“NRA pushes limits of its power,” July 9). Williams is completely wrong. Not only has NRA been scoring votes and grading lawmakers’ loyalty to the Second Amendment since the 1970s, but this vote is of particular importance.
Every American — especially Williams — needs to remember that Holder’s “Fast and Furious” scandal was used to bolster the Obama administration’s lie that the majority of guns used in Mexican drug cartel crimes come from America.
Every American needs to remember that the Obama administration forced border-state gun shops to sell firearms to known gun-runners, in spite of protests from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents on the ground.
Every American needs to remember that “Fast and Furious” was explicitly used to make the Obama administration’s case for an illegal gun-registration scheme, which has already been enacted in four border states.
Every American needs to remember that U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered by Mexican drug-runners with guns that were supplied through operation “Fast and Furious.”
And while every American deserves to know the truth behind this massive and deadly scandal, Holder continues to withhold critical information from Congress and the American people. In doing so, he has destroyed the sacred trust that every American deserves to have in our government institutions.
In all of my years fighting to defend the Second Amendment, I never thought I would see a White House so vehemently opposed to gun ownership that it would be willing to arm violent criminals and endanger American lives in pursuit of a gun-control agenda.
So yes, Mr. Williams, of course the NRA would score this vote. Furthermore, we’re going to make sure every American gun owner knows what it means for their freedom in the months leading up to Nov. 6.
From Chris Cox, Fairfax, Va.