- The Washington Times - Friday, July 18, 2008

The second-in-command at the government’s top whistleblower office has quit in a dispute with his boss, whom he accused of putting “political agendas and personal vendettas” ahead of the agency’s mission and independence.

U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch is effective Saturday. Mr. Bloch is under federal investigation, accused of destroying evidence potentially showing he retaliated against his own staff.

“Upon my departure, I am obligated to note that the mission, independence and very existence of the Associated Press.

“This agency, and the people whom we serve, deserve no less.”

A spokesman for Mr. Bloch declined comment. Mr. Bloch is a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is responsible for protecting the rights of federal workers and ensuring that government whistleblowers are not subjected to reprisals.

A group of current and former agency workers filed a complaint against Mr. Bloch in 2005, accusing him of retaliating with intimidation and involuntary transfers of those who opposed his policies. The employees also accused Mr. Bloch of refusing to protect federal workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Those charges are being investigated by the inspector general at the Office of Personnel Management.

White House Office of Personnel Management agents raided Mr. Bloch’s office and home in May as part of a criminal investigation.

Mr. Bloch has denied any wrongdoing.

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