Watchdog accuses agency officials of cronyism, wasteful spending: NPR

An internal watchdog found that high-ranking former officials in the U.S. Government Publishing Office hired unqualified candidates at the agency, according to a report obtained by NPR.

The news outlet reported Monday that the Government Publishing Office, formerly known as the Government Printing Office, is the subject of an inspector general report that details allegations of cronyism and misuse of taxpayer dollars.

The report alleges that the agency's acting deputy director and chief administrative officer, Herbert Jackson Jr., and former acting deputy director, Andrew Sherman, "orchestrated a scheme to bypass the competitive hiring process and engaged in cronyism, thereby betraying the public trust."

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Former acting Inspector General Stephen Roy wrote that the pair hired two employees who should have been ineligible to work at the agency, "resulting in an erosion of morale and perpetuating the appearance that GPO senior leadership is subject to different standards of conduct."

The two ineligible employees received payments totaling nearly $440,000 in what the watchdog deemed "wasteful" spending.

The alleged misconduct took place from 2014 to 2018, NPR reported. Jackson and Sherman both declined to comment to NPR.

The report has not yet been finalized, current Government Publishing Office watchdog Melinda Miguel told NPR.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE in June nominated Robert Tapella to lead the Government Publishing Office. He previously led the agency under each of the past two presidents, but has yet to receive a Senate confirmation hearing.

The Government Publishing Office is responsible for producing, disseminating and preserving official documents for the government, such as passports for the State Department, questionnaires for the Census and publications for Congress.