Ethics Probe Revealed

Posted July 31, 2007 at 6:44pm

House ethics Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) and ranking member Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) were expected to interview fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias on Tuesday regarding a phone call placed to him by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) in October, according to The Albuquerque Tribune. [IMGCAP(1)]

Disclosure of Iglesias’ interview marks the first public confirmation that the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is looking into the fired prosecutors scandal and Wilson’s role in it.

Wilson has been the target of ethics allegations since it was revealed that she called Iglesias to ask about a pending investigation that involved a Democratic state Senator shortly before the midterm elections. Wilson does not deny she placed the call but has said it was proper and not in violation of House rules. She has not retained counsel in the matter.

Union Questions. Union officials at the Congressional Research Service are calling a decision by Director Daniel Mulhollan to fire a 16-year employee for his inability to maintain regular attendance on the job a failure in leadership.

In July, Congressional Research Employees Association President Dennis Roth cited the case of Lois Golino — a Congressional relations specialist in CRS’ inquiry section — as an example of how CRS management is unwilling to create a flexible and family-friendly workplace at the agency.

In 2005, Golino had two major surgeries to remove a rare type of brain tumor, and he also suffers from chronic musculoskeletal problems. His dismissal from the Library of Congress on July 25 came after he was warned last fall for using too much unscheduled leave time.

In a release issued Tuesday about Golino’s firing, CREA said that prior to his dismissal, Golino’s health had been improving and that “there was no reason why the Library, including CRS, could not find Mr. Golino a different position if his decreasing absences still affected the unit in which he worked.”

The union release said CRS management acted in both a “vindictive” and “unprofessional” manner.

Reached Tuesday afternoon, a CRS spokeswoman said, “as a matter of professional courtesy and out of respect for the confidentiality of individuals, CRS will not comment on personnel-related matters. CRS takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that its employees are protected. These processes are carried out in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

— Susan Davis and John McArdle