Doan's attorney fires back for leaked report

Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, is firing back at Special Counsel Scott Bloch because of a leaked report on his office’s investigation into Doan’s alleged Hatch Act violation.

Michael Nardotti Jr., an attorney with Patton Boggs who represents Doan, wrote a letter to OSC May 24 “to express utter outrage that the confidentiality of the report concerning allegations against her has not been maintained.”

“It would be beyond reason to conclude that the leak of the reports is from any source other than your office,” he wrote. “The obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the report lies with your office and ultimately with you as the special counsel.”

In the letter, Nardotti said he intends to take the issue to the Executive Office of the President and encouraged Bloch to reject the report and hand the investigation to another body.

“The matter has been irreparably damaged,” he wrote.

OSC’s report was leaked to the media, revealing the office’s conclusion that Doan violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan activity on federal property and during work hours.

According to OSC, Doan violated the law during a Jan. 26 brown-bag lunch at GSA headquarters. After a presentation by White House officials regarding 2007 and 2008 elections, she allegedly asked a group of GSA political appointees, “What can we do for our candidates?”

“Considering the context in which Ms. Doan posed this question, it is clear that her question was an activity directed toward the success of the Republican Party and Republican candidates,” the report states. “It was inherently coercive for administrator Doan to ask and/or encourage her subordinates to engage in political activity.”

As for Doan's future as administrator, President Bush will make the final decision. OSC can only recommend disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, Nardotti said the report’s release is grossly unfair to Doan and compromised the integrity of the investigative process. “To the extent that the report lacks objectivity and impartiality as written, those serious deficiencies are only aggravated by the premature release of the damaging information,” he wrote.

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