Discrepancies get Doan another invitation to Capitol Hill

A leaked Office of Special Counsel (OSC) report on Lurita Doan, the General Services Administration’s administrator, has landed her on Capitol Hill for another round of questioning next month.

Doan is being investigated for an alleged violation of the Hatch Act. OSC determined she stepped into political territory at a brown-bag lunch in January at GSA headquarters, according to the office’s May 18 report. At that lunch, White House officials gave a political presentation, after which Doan allegedly asked, “How can we help our candidates?” The act prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan activity on federal property and during work hours.

But the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found discrepancies in Doan’s sworn testimony, and the members want more information. A committee hearing scheduled for June 7 will likely also focus on the veracity of her statements to OSC and her March 28 testimony before the committee, according to a letter from committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to Doan.

“The OSC concluded that your account was ‘unsupported and contradicted by the documentary evidence’ and ‘appears to have been purposefully misleading and false,’” Waxman wrote in his May 24 letter.

He also noted OSC’s comment: “Finally, it is troubling that Administrator Doan made…unsubstantiated allegations during an official investigation of her actions. It arguably indicates a willingness on her part not only to use her position in a way that is threatening to anyone who would come forward, but also…suggests a willingness to retaliate against anyone who would be so ‘disloyal’ as to tell the truth about a matter she confesses she does not remember.”

Doan told investigators that the witnesses who spoke against her were either demoted or asked to resign, according to testimony cited in the report.

Waxman wrote that government employees who cooperate with congressional and federal investigations perform a vital service to the country.

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