FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – In a federal RICO complaint, President George W. Bush’s U.S. Office of Special Counsel head Scott Bloch claims Karl Rove, Congressman Tom Davis and more than a dozen other federal officials conspired to boot him out of office with a bogus criminal investigation, to cover up their own corruption and misuse of power at the highest levels of government.
Bloch, who pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress in 2010 after he hired Geeks on Call to erase data from federal computers, sued Rove, Davis and 27 others in Fairfax County Court.
Bloch and his wife demand $102 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages, claiming the defendants raided their home, invaded their privacy and conspired to keep Bloch from carrying out his duties as special counsel.
Bloch was appointed as special counsel for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) in 2004 and immediately became controversial, removing sexual orientation from the Office’s list of protected classes from workplace discrimination.
He claims his predecessor had erroneously misinterpreted the Civil Service Reform Act as providing protection against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
“Importantly, plaintiff did not determine that persons seeking to remedy discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation had no legal remedy at OSC,” Bloch says in his 64-page complaint. “Indeed, plaintiff concluded at the end of the legal review that such discrimination claims could be processed by OSC to the extent they alleged discrimination based on conduct not adversely affecting job performance.”
Bloch claims White House officials, specifically the Deputy White House Counsel, “threatened plaintiff with termination if he did not reverse his decision.”
Bloch says he maintained that the OSC was an independent agency and immune to such threats.
He says he also caught heat for reassigning 12 employees, including two openly gay employees, to “different field offices,” a move that “generated substantial media interest … and complaints from disgruntled employees” who saw the move as a political purge.
“Based upon malicious and wrongful motives … Office of Personal Management, Office of Inspector General (OPM-OIG) initiated a wrongful and malicious investigation of plaintiff,” Bloch says.
Despite the public controversy, Bloch says the conclusion of Congressional and Executive branch investigations into the matter showed he “had fulfilled his responsibilities efficiently and within the boundaries of the law.”
Bloch claims Bush confidant Clay Johnson forced him to recuse himself from investigating claims of wrongdoing within his own office, and set the FBI on an illegal criminal investigation to cover up the government’s own “wrongdoing, illegality” and misuse of power.
Bloch claims Johnson’s investigation violated the Economy Act, which does not authorize an agency to hire out the authority of another agency.
“From the outset until this day, OPM-IG and OPM has acted lawlessly, has attempted to destroy plaintiff’s ability to do his job, interfered with his duties, attempted to sway his employees against him, attempted to stray from the complaint it was attempting to investigate, violated OSC’s laws, required employees to violate OSC’s laws, and worked consistently with outside interest groups, complainants, and Congress to illegally publish and willfully violate plaintiff’s privacy rights in leaking materials from the investigation, to imply that objections to the investigation lodged by deputy special counsel were actually manifest evidence of plaintiff obstructing the investigation,” Bloch says in his complaint.
Bloch also accuses Karl Rove and other White House officials of jumping in on the movement to oust him because of Hatch Act complaints Bloch was investigating.
Bloch claims he investigated allegations that Rove misused funds in “overseeing the re-election of President Bush” and other Republicans in the 2004 elections.
He says his investigation turned up evidence that Rove used Air Force One “for a purely political speech,” prompting the White House to reimburse the Treasury.
An “emissary from the White House also informed plaintiff that Clay Johnson and the West Wing of the White House wanted him to leave his job, that nobody wanted an inspector general investigation on their record, and if plaintiff left quietly, the inspector general investigation would likely fade away as resources tend to get put elsewhere when someone leaves office, and the investigation had not really begun,” Bloch says.
The complaint continues: “Plaintiff was further told that the emissary knew of several large law firms where he had contacts and with plaintiff’s background and experience, ‘gold in this town,’ he could get a good job. The emissary also said he would go to the White House within six months or so if plaintiff cooperated, and seek a judgeship for plaintiff either on the federal circuit or the federal court of claims. This individual made it clear he had spoken with individuals in the West Wing and what he was saying was based on personal knowledge of the White House wanting plaintiff to leave office now.”
Bloch says he refused to leave office.
In his lengthy complaint, Bloch brings up another controversial investigation, involving General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan, who resigned after Bloch investigated her for “illegal political activities in violation of the Hatch Act.”
Bloch says he recommended that Doan be “disciplined for her conduct,” and that she “was forced to resign on or about April 29, 2008.”
He claims that Doan “has close ties to Rep. Tom Davis, (R-Va.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,” and that “Davis had been very supportive of plaintiff’s work as special counsel until plaintiff began investigating Doan.”
The complaint continues: “In or about 2003-04, Doan and her husband gave approximately $500,000 to the Republican National Committee, George W. Bush for President, and various candidates across the country as directed by Tom Davis for use as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee to get Republicans elected to Congress in important or hotly disputed races. On information and belief, Davis and his wife were involved in helping Doan to become successful in her business, NMTI, which she sold in or about 2005 for an estimated $200,000,000.
“During her time in obtaining government contracts, Doan used her husband’s position at the Department of Homeland Security to bid for contracts for her technology company or obtain non-public information, which was contrary to government laws. On information and belief, defendants Davis, Doan, [Patrick] McFarland, [Jill] Maroney, [David] Cope, and [Fred] Fielding knew that plaintiff was investigating Doan for this, following his explanation to Davis and Fielding that he believed he had to consider making a criminal referral of Doan’s utter failure to cooperate in the investigation, and creating extra work on false statements and other acts of obstruction through Davis and Fielding, when they authorized the grand jury investigation, and raid on plaintiff’s home and office, and the very public nature of that raid, in contravention of law.”
Bloch says Davis authorized the grand jury investigation and a raid on his home and office: “This raid seized sensitive files and investigation materials at plaintiff’s home and office, that pertained to Doan and Davis and their conspiracies aforementioned, including illegal use of public authority to divert appropriated funds for campaigning of RNC [Republican National Committee] and NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] and the bidding of the White House, Rove, and the RNC generally. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that OPM agents seized materials at plaintiff’s home including information pertaining to strategy for uncovering the ways in which Davis and Doan used the contracting monies Doan obtained to divert to RNC and NRCC races and to help Davis run for Senate and to help Rove and the RNC court black entrepreneurs for the RNC for further elections.”
Officials also seized a federally issued malfunctioning laptop for which Bloch had hired Geeks on Call to “recover as many documents as possible” and “remove any remnant of corruption or virus.”
Bloch says he hired Geeks on Call “after OSC’s in-house technical staff was unable to correct the computer problem. The total cost of the work performed by Geeks on Call was less than $1,200.”
He says the government leaked to the press, falsely, that he had hired Geeks on Call to intentionally destroy documents relating to his investigation.
“In approximately mid-November 2007, defendant intentionally or willfully disclosed records pertaining to plaintiff and/or the contents of records pertaining to plaintiff to members of the media, including the Wall Street Journal, and/or Rep. Tom Davis in violation of the Privacy Act and plaintiff’s rights under the Privacy Act,” Bloch says.
Bloch says a Wall Street Journal reporter told him that Inspector General lawyers had showed him records of his investigation.
Bloch, who was removed from office in October 2008, sued the Executive Office of the President, Clay Johnson, Patricia Marshall, Deborah Katz, Katz Marshall & Banks LLP, James Byrne, James Mitchell, Thomas Davis Jr., Karl Rove, Lurita Doan, Fred Fielding, Patrick McFarland, Jill Maroney, David Cope, Mark Robbins, Elaine Kaplan, Linda Springer, Human Rights Campaign, National Treasury Employees Union, Jeff Ruch, POGO, GAP, PEER, Tom Divine, John Berry, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
He seeks $202 million for constitutional violations, whistleblower violations, RICO violations, privacy invasion, wrongful termination, libel, racketeering and violation of separation of powers.
Bloch and his wife filed the case pro se, with assistance from William Skepnek, of Lawrence, Kan. They demand a jury trial.