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Promoting Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in Government, Politics and the Law
Last Updated: Mon, 05/24/2010 - 10:25am
Officers at the Homeland Security agency that secures federal buildings went on huge personal spending sprees with theirgovernment credit cards yet authorities refuse to punish them or force them to refund taxpayers.The Federal Protective Service (FPS) employees bought fancy clothes, gold coins, flat-screen televisions, gym membershipsand athletic shoes with Uncle Sam
s money but they will face no consequences for their corrupt actions. Federal prosecutorshave twice refused to charge them and the Department of Homeland Security won
t reprimand them, despite a governmentagency inspector general report documenting the wrongdoing.
Details of the
were made public recently by a Washington D.C. newspaper that obtained records through theFreedom of Information Act. It turns out that the feds have been quietly probing the scandal, involving 21 FPS employees, forfive years. Three agents apparently resigned, four retired, five may face a
and the rest will cruise as ifnothing ever happened.The FPS employees racked up thousands of dollars in unauthorized personal expenses on their government-issuedpurchase cards during a transition period in which the agency moved from the General Services Administration (GSA) to theDepartment of Homeland Security. A GSA Inspector General report said the employees took advantage of the transition period
to loot GSA resources by purchasing unauthorized goods.
Charges include $60,000 in tuition payments, $32,000 for men
s suits at upscale stores, $15,000 for gold and silver coinsand $8,000 in gym memberships. Additionally, the federal employees illegally used expense vouchers to get reimbursementfor more than $9,000 in clothing, including an $800 tuxedo.The overwhelming evidence and solid documentation led investigators at the inspector general
s office to refer the case to theJustice Department for prosecution, but the agency has twice refused to act. In 2005, prosecutors determined that FPSemployees had not been appropriately advised of their rights. Prosecutors refused to provide a reason for turning the casedown again in 2008.
Created in 1971, the FPS claims to be a
highly trained and multi-disciplined police force
with 1,225 employees. Itsmission is to assure that federal properties are safe and secure for government employees, officials and visitors. The federalagency also oversees a staff of 15,000 contract guards that help secure more than 9,000 buildings nationwide.
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Homeland Sec. Officers Go On Spending Spree
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