It happens - Documents reveal corruption in Treasury Department
Treasury officials downplay embarrassing findings.
Prostitution, conflicts of interest, and outright bribery are the news of the day as it relates to those entrusted with overseeing the US money supply. A Treasury Department internal investigation has revealed multiple episodes of unethical behavior within the Department.
The Treasury Department is the latest agency of the Obama administration to be hit by scandal.
However, according to TheHill.com, which broke the news on Sunday, the results of a probe by the Treasury Office of Inspector General (OIG) were published online in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The findings are significant because they could impact the presidential campaign as opponents paint Obama in an increasingly scandalous light.
According to the documents, a number of officials within the department engaged in unethical and possibly sometimes criminal behavior. Notable examples include a worker who solicited prostitutes and "erotic services" on a weekly basis via Craigslist, others who accepted golf fees and meals from bank executives (during workweeks when bank examinations were occurring), and acceptance by employees of flowers, meals, and at least one ride in a limousine. More serious were several allegations of financial conflicts of interest.
The Treasury Department insists the incidents were all isolated and have been handled appropriately. A Treasury spokesman was quoted on The Hill as saying, "Treasury has a strong ethics policy that we expect all of our employees to follow, and the overwhelming majority of them do. As with any large organization, issues of misconduct occasionally arise. When that happens at Treasury, we act promptly and decisively to address them. The OIG moved aggressively to investigate the isolated instances of misconduct referenced in these documents, most of which were brought to the OIG"s attention by bureau management."
In fairness, little more can be asked of the Treasury. However, as the information surfaces and is combined with other, similar incidents, most notoriously among the Secret Service, it taints the already embattled Obama administration. It remains to be seen if this will be blown into an election issue or if the politicos and public will dismiss it as part of what should be expected in a bureaucracy.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Treasury, Craigslist, misconduct, investigation, corruption, Obama
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