Temporary CAO Appointed in Wake of Beard’s Resignation

Posted July 15, 2010 at 1:57pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that a senior adviser on the House Administration Committee will temporarily replace Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, who resigned earlier this month.

Pelosi will swear in Daniel Strodel on the House floor Thursday afternoon, according to a press release. Strodel has worked on Capitol Hill for more than two decades, holding positions with the Office of the Clerk, the Office of the CAO and the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms.

“Dan Strodel brings extensive institutional knowledge and leadership experience from decades on Capitol Hill to his position as Interim Chief Administrative Officer,” Pelosi said in the release. “In each office that he served, from the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms, to the U.S. Capitol Police, he has proven his strong management skills, which will be essential to running the key functions of the House in his new role.”

Beard resigned in the wake of a House Inspector General report that criticized the CAO for low morale, miscommunication and turnover in its Office of Payroll & Benefits and Office of Financial Counseling. Beard initially dismissed the report as “inaccurate,” prompting House appropriators to withhold $20 million from his fiscal 2011 budget unless he acted on some of the IG’s recommendations. Hours later, Beard resigned.

Strodel will take over the position Sunday, according to the release. He currently advises the House Administration Committee — which oversees the CAO — on “management and oversight of the operations under its jurisdiction.”

As interim CAO, Strodel will “continue the initiatives we have begun to ‘Green the Capitol’ complex, ensure accountability and transparency in House operations, and tighten our cybersecurity controls,” Pelosi said.

It’s unclear when Pelosi will nominate a permanent CAO (who would have to be confirmed by the House). Beard, who was hired in 2007, was long criticized by Republicans, who claimed he was a partisan pick and demanded a bipartisan search panel.

But so far, at least, Republicans and Democrats seems to be on the same page for filling Beard’s seat. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), ranking member of the committee, said in a statement that he supported Strodel’s appointment.

“As we prepare to transition into the 112th Congress, we must all work together to restore the integrity and functionality of the Office of the CAO,” he said. “With that, we welcome Mr. Strodel’s appointment and stand ready to work with him.”