Scott J. Bloch
Scott J. Bloch was nominated by President George W. Bush as Special Counsel in the Office of Special Counsel on June 26, 2003. Bloch's nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 9, 2003. Bloch, replaced Elaine D. Kaplan, who resigned, and joined the OSC office on January 5, 2004, to serve a five-year term.
Under investigation ...
Elizabeth Williamson wrote February 15, 2007, in the Washington Post:
- "The Office of Personnel Management's inspector general has been investigating allegations by current and former OSC employees that Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch retaliated against underlings who disagreed with his policies--by, among other means, transferring them out of state--and tossed out legitimate whistle-blower cases to reduce the office backlog. Bloch denies the accusations, saying that under his leadership the agency has grown more efficient and receptive to whistle-blowers.
- "The 16-month investigation has been beset by delays, accusations and counter-accusations. The latest problem began two weeks ago, when Bloch's deputy sent staffers a memo asking them to inform OSC higher-ups when investigators contact them. Further, the memo read, employees should meet with investigators in the office, in a special conference room. Some employees cried foul, saying the recommendations made them afraid to be interviewed in the probe.
- "The OSC's memo, the group said, 'was only the latest in a series of actions by Bloch to obstruct' the investigation. 'Other actions have included suggestions that all witnesses interviewed...provide Bloch with affidavits describing what they had been asked and how they responded.'"
...and to investigate Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales
As Bloch is "mov[ing] forward with plans for a sweeping probe of the Bush administration," and the activities of presidential adviser Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in particular, "several advocacy groups complained that his ties to the administration and to conservative groups, as well as his record on gay rights and whistle-blowers, made him the wrong man for the job," Tom Hamburger wrote April 25, 2007, in the Los Angeles Times.
"'There is a serious question as to whether Bloch will just provide cover for an administration that is covering for him,' said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Democratic-leaning group."
OSC communications director James Mitchell, a spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel, "waved away the complaints, saying agency staffers have already begun to form an internal task force, led in part by career staff, to probe three broad areas of activity involving the White House and senior advisor Karl Rove.
"The agency will use its subpoena power if necessary, Mitchell said. It will focus on whether White House political concerns improperly intruded on the decision to fire at least one U.S. attorney; whether Rove's office staff or others violated" the Hatch Act—"a 70-year-old law that bars federal employees from engaging in political activities using government resources or on government time"—"in briefing Cabinet agency managers on political developments and Republican campaign goals; and whether the White House improperly used Republican National Committee e-mail accounts for official business.
"Many of those e-mails are now missing, and Bloch has said his agency will probably join the effort to find them," Hamburger wrote.
According to Bloch's White House nomination, 
- "The President intends to nominate Scott J. Bloch of Kansas, to be Special Counsel, Office of Special Counsel, for a five-year term. He currently serves as Deputy Director and Counsel to the Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Justice. Previously, Mr. Bloch was a Partner with Stevens & Brand, LLP, where he practiced in the areas of civil rights law, employment law, and legal ethics. Prior to this position, he served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. Mr. Bloch earned his bachelor's degree and his J.D. from the University of Kansas." White House, June 26, 2003.
According to the statement made by Bloch on November 12, 2003, in his Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs 'Nominations Hearing',
- "As I reflect today on my background which has prepared me for this challenge, I am reminded that I grew up with an understanding of the importance of the underdog. My father was a lifelong member of a union, the Writers Guild of America, and he taught me the need for protections for those who are trying to earn a living for their families, who stand as a lone voice against a powerful industry. In my law practice, I learned to champion the small worker and found this work to be the most rewarding of my legal career. That sense of justice and the rule of law inspired me to come to Washington for a career in public service; it continues to inspire me in this new position for which I have been nominated."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush administration
- Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
- Bush administration misuse of government agencies controversy
- Nomination of Scott J. Bloch to be Special Counsel, Office of Special Counsel, Hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, 108th Congress, First Session, November 12, 2003.
- Profile of Scott J. Bloch, U.S. Office of Special Counsel website.
Articles & Commentary
By Scott J. Bloch
- Opinion: "Protecting Whistle-Blowers and the Public," Washington Post, September 23, 2006.
- Stefan Styrsky, "Lawmakers Demand Watchdog Resigns. Excluding gays from protections violates established practice say Dems," Gay City News, February 14-20, 2004 (cache file).
- "Crony Hiring by Special Counsel Target of Lawsuit — Former Boarding School Headmaster Retained as Consultant," PEER, November 17, 2004.
- "Joint POGO, PEER & GAP Letter to Office of Special Counsel, Scott Bloch regarding gag order on career staff of the OSC," Project on Government Oversight, April 15, 2004.
- "Federal GLOBE Joins Congressional Call to Fire OSC Head Scott Bloch," Federal GLOBE, October 7, 2004.
- Bill Berkowitz, "Bloch-ing Justice. When Scott Bloch became head of the Office of Special Counsel he declared war on equal protection for gays in federal workplaces," Dissident Voice, October 12, 2004.
- Bill Berkowitz, "The Chopping Bloch. Running amuck as head of the Office of Special Counsel, Scott Bloch is charged with assembling his own 'palace guard'," Dissident Voice, December 28, 2004.
- "Staff 'Purge' at Office of Special Counsel — Whistleblower Staff Claiming Retaliation Forced Moves to New," PEER, January 10, 2005.
- "Staff 'Purge' at Office of Special Counsel. Whistleblower Staff Claiming Retaliation. Forced Moves to New 'Midwest Field Office'," Project on Government Oversight, January 10, 2005.
- Christopher Lee, "Head of Worker Protection Office Is Accused of Retaliatory Transfers," Washington Post, January 11, 2005.
- "Urge Congress to Investigate General Counsel Scott Bloch," Project on Government Oversight, January 11, 2005.
- Brian Dominick, "Federal Whistleblower Office Accused of 'Purging' Staff," New Standard News, January 13, 2005.
- Stefan Styrsky, "Gay Groups Call for OSC Director’s Ouster," San Francisco Bay Times, January 16, 2005 (cache file).
- "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out," TBogg Blogspot, February 23, 2005.
- "Whistleblower Staff Blow the Whistle on Special Counsel. OSC Staff Want Independent Investigation of Illegal Personnel Practices," PEER (Freedom of Information Center; Common Dreams), March 3, 2005.
- "Call For Independent Investigation Into Anti-Gay Practices Of Bush Appointee," 365Gay.com, March 4, 2005.
- Doreen Brandt, "Heat On Bloch Intensifies Over Anti-Gay Practices," 365Gay.com, March 7, 2005.
- "FBI to Investigate Whistleblower Protection Agency Head — New Complaint Alleges Condoleezza Rice Probe Shelved Until After Election," PEER, March 31, 2005.
- John R. Wilke, "Crying Foul at Whistle-Blower Protector. Some Staff From U.S. Office of Special Counsel Claim Wrongdoing by the Agency's Chief," Wall Street Journal (Mindfully.org), March 31, 2005.
- Daniel Pulliam, "Hatching Bias," GovExec.com, April 1, 2005.
- "OSC's Scott Bloch, more problems," Stygius Blog, April 1, 2005.
- Fred Kuhr, "A blind eye to discrimination: Scott Bloch, the Bush appointee who tried to ditch protections for gay federal employees, has a new scandal on his hands: a gay whistle-blower Bloch's office tried to sweep under the carpet," The Advocate (FindArticles.com), April 12, 2005.
- "Special Counsel Hired Son’s Boarding School Headmaster; Consultant Deal Worth $112,000 Produces Only a Four-Page Memo," PEER (Common Dreams), April 12, 2005.
- "Scott Bloch's wonderland," Stygius Blog, April 30, 2005.
- David S. Bernstein, "Bush's House Homophobe," Boston Phoenix (AlterNet), May 16, 2005.
- Christopher Lee, "Official Says Law Doesn't Cover Gays. Counsel Cites Lack of Authority to Enforce Discrimination Ban," Washington Post, May 24, 2005.
- "Log Cabin Calls On Scott Bloch, Office of Special Counsel, to Resign," Log Cabin Republicans, May 25, 2005.
- John Aravosis, "Bush counsel says he won't enforce Bush's executive order not to discriminate against gays in the fed govt" and "Dear Scott Bloch," AMERICAblog, May 25, 2005.
- Mel Seesholtz, "Originalists, Federalism, and Scott J. Bloch," Counterbias.com, May 30, 2005.
- "Tell President Bush to Replace Scott Bloch," Log Cabin Republicans, June 1, 2005.
- Daniel Pulliam, "OPM investigator launches probe of Office of Special Counsel chief," GovExec.com, October 19, 2005.
- Doreen Brandt, "Special Counsel Bloch Subject Of Inspector General Probe In Gay Bias Complaint," 365Gay.com, October 19, 2005.
- JamesB3, "Special Investigation for Not-So-Special Counsel Bloch," The Next Hurrah Blog, October 19, 2005.
- Michelle Chen, "Federal Employee Rule Change Alarms Gay-Rights Groups," New Standard News, March 17, 2006.
- Elizabeth Williamson, "Special Counsel Accused Of Intimidation in Probe. Contact With Investigators Controlled, Employees Say," Washington Post, February 15, 2007.
- "Special Counsel Bloch Accused Of Intimidation," 365Gay.com, February 21, 2007.
- "Who Will Blink First? White House and OSC Investigate Each Other: Bloch Must Recuse Himself," Project on Government Oversight, April 24, 2007.
- David Corn, "Rove's Newest Investigator Is Under Investigation," The Nation, April 24, 2007.
- Justin Rood, "Rove Investigator Faces Own Allegations," The Blotter Blog/ABC News, April 24, 2007.
- "Office of Special Counsel, led by controversial Scott Bloch, is the wrong entity to investigate White House scandals," Citizens for Responsiblity and Ethics in Washington, April 24, 2007.
- Daniel Schulman, "Office of Special Counsel's War On Whistleblowers," MotherJones, April 24, 2007.
- "Bush's next line of defense on gwb43.com, 'missing' email, attorney firings, Rovian ratfucking: 'We'll investigate ourselves'," Corrente Wire, April 24, 2007.
- Limelite, "Who Is Scott J. Bloch, Special Counsel and Rove Investigator?" Daily Kos, April 24, 2007.
- B12Love, "Rove's investigator, Scott J. Bloch, is not squeaky clean," Daily Kos, April 24, 2007.
- Paul Kiel, TPMmuckraker, April 24, 2007:
- Tom Hamburger, "Critics doubt official looking into Rove. Advocacy groups cite Bloch's ties to the administration," Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2007.
- Neil A. Lewis, "Inquiry on Political Influence," New York Times, April 25, 2007.
- "Federal Investigators Probing White House," Associated Press (CBS News), April 25, 2007.
- Nancy Benac, "Govt. investigator under fire himself," Associated Press (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), April 25, 2007.
- Daniel Schulman, "Karl Rove's Least Likely Interrogator: Scott Bloch and the Office of Special Counsel," MotherJones, April 25, 2007.
- Smintheus, "Looking for a journalist," Inconvenient News, April 25, 2007.
- David S. Bernstein, "Bloch head. Should Karl Rove fear Bush’s house homophobe?" The Phoenix, April 25, 2007.
- Elizabeth Williamson, "The Investigated Investigator. Leader of High-Profile Probes Is Under Scrutiny Himself," Washington Post, April 30, 2007.