Former Bush Administration official Scott Bloch pleaded guilty to destroying government property and was sentenced to two years of probation, one day in jail, and 200 hours of community service this week.
According to the Washington Post, Bloch was head of the Office of Special Counsel under George W. Bush. Bloch was charged for failing to, as presiding judge Robert L. Wilkins put it, “completely come clean” about why he hired a team of computer technicians to wipe data off of computers at the Office of Special Counsel.
In 2010, Bloch admitted to giving incomplete information to investigators when he was probed about his computer-scrubbing conduct. In February, Bloch pleaded guilty to charges of destroying government property.
Investigation of Bloch began in 2006 by the head of the Office of Personnel Management. Investigators suspected that Bloch was retaliating against his employees and closing multiple whistleblower cases without properly investigating them. Bloch hired a Geeks on Call crew to wipe office computer’s more than a year after the investigation had began. The Wall Street Journal found out and reported on the computer wipe, ultimately leading to a White House issued investigation.
People involved with the case had mixed reactions to today’s sentencing.
Bloch’s attorney called him a “good man, who made a mistake” and said he felt the sentencing was “a tad too severe.”
Meanwhile Debra S. Katz, an attorney for the employees of the Office of Special Counsel, calls the sentencing a “slap on the wrist.”
Carolyn Lerner took over Bloch’s role at the Office of Special Counsel in 2011 and has been applauded for her work with the department.