White House is Playing Politics with Interim Ethics Director

Jul 21, 2017
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WASHINGTON – Walter Shaub, senior director, ethics at Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and former director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), released the following statement about President Trump’s appointment of David J. Apol as Acting Director of OGE:

“It’s unfortunate that the White House decided to play politics with the interim director role. If they have someone they like, they should formally nominate that person to be permanent director. This sort of political interference creates the appearance that the White House may be hoping to engineer looser oversight by reaching down and leapfrogging a career employee over his own supervisor temporarily.

Under the Vacancies Reform Act, the role of OGE’s acting director automatically goes to OGE’s highest ranking career official, the Chief of Staff, unless the president overrides that designation. OGE announced today that the White House has replaced the acting director with a lower level OGE employee, the General Counsel. This way, the White House gets to install its preferred candidate without having a Senate confirmation hearing in which it would have to face tough questions about how the nominee would address the administration’s ethics problems.”

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