The Inspector General of the Commerce Department has found blatant corruption in the Census Bureau office that is supposed to screen Census Bureau employees. Falsified time records totaling $1.1 million, graft, and threats against whistleblowers were pervasive in the office of less than 80 employees.
This comes at a time when a new Gallup poll shows that 3 in 4 Americans perceive “widespread corruption” in government.
According to Gallup:
While the numbers have fluctuated slightly since 2007, the trend has been largely stable since 2010. However, the percentage of U.S. adults who see corruption as pervasive has never been less than a majority in the past decade, which has had no shortage of controversies from theU.S. Justice Department’s firings of U.S. attorneys to the IRS scandal.
American now have another scandal to add to their long list of reasons to distrust Uncle Sam.
The shenanigans of the Census Hiring and Employment Check (CHEC) office characterize how many government employees view their job. Taxpayer money is an endless river and it doesn’t matter if you steal from it by lying and cheating. The boss is not concerned because it’s not his company; it’s just a leviathan.
More than half of the CHEC employees reported hours that they never worked, with one of them misreporting 160 full work days that costed $64,600. A higher-ranking employee claimed 890 non-existent work hours, billing taxpayers $85,170.
The lost time and attendance amount to over $1 million in theft of taxpayer money. At least one employee abused his position to hire friends and gain sexual favors.
These bureaucrats felt so bold about their actions that they threatened anyone who reported misconduct. One of the employees who falsified timesheets made a stabbing motion while cutting cake at an office party, saying, “This is for who went to the OIG.”
John Thompson, the director of the Census Bureau, is apparently outraged and said he would pursue legal action to reimburse taxpayers.
“Any employees who allegedly falsified timesheets and betrayed the trust of the American public will be held personally accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including possible termination.”
How on earth are they facing only “possible termination”? They were caught defrauding the very people who employ them through committing theft. They should not only have been fired immediately, but they should be rotting in a jail cell.
However, there does not appear to be any interest in pursuing justice or even getting rid of the bad actors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has already declined to prosecute the case, and the thieving employees are still on the job at CHEC.