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Whistleblowers to Holder: appoint special prosecutor for Scott Bloch case

A group of government whistleblowers recently wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing their desire that a special prosecutor be appointed to manage the case against former Bush administration official Scott Bloch

Last spring, Bloch pleaded guilty to misdemeanor contempt of Congress after admitting that he had hired a company to clean his government computer's hard drive during an investigation concerning alleged retaliation against government employees.

In their letter, the whistleblowers accused Bloch of gravely damaging the federal civil service and giving an appearance of impropriety by withdrawing his guilty plea after the federal prosecutor currently handing the case expressed support of a plea agreement.

A special prosecutor is typically an attorney from outside the government, appointed by the attorney general to avoid a potential conflict of interest. The whistleblowers in this case expressed in their letter that, while they are not particularly concerned about improper conduct on the part of the Department of Justice, they nevertheless believe the situation presents an appearance of impropriety.

Bloch, who resigned from his position as Special Counsel at the United States Office of Special Counsel, was accused of discriminating in the workplace on the basis of sexual and political orientation, intimidating subordinates into noncooperation with investigators, deleting computer files and destroying whistleblower cases, and making false and misleading statements to Congress under oath.

Source: TPMMuckracker, "Whistleblowers Ask Holder for Special Prosecutor in Scott Bloch Case" Ryan J Reily, 22 Feb 2011.

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