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The Tough Ex-Secret Service Guy Who’s Going to Watch Our Money

Let’s just say if this guy’s no-nonsense looking mug is any indication of his toughness, we’re in good shape. This is a Herculean task.

Earl E. Devaney/gov photo

Earl E. Devaney/gov photo

By SCOTT SHANE
New York Times
WASHINGTON – There is an alligator head in Earl E. Devaney’s office, with a tiny camera concealed inside. The covert pictures it snapped in a Louisiana bayou caught an Interior Department official on a fishing trip he had accepted as a bribe, but today the stuffed gator lives on as a toothy deterrent to corruption.

“When an assistant secretary comes in and asks about it, I tell that story and they get a little unnerved,” said Mr. Devaney, the inspector general for the Interior Department and the man President Obama has chosen to police the spending of the $787 billion stimulus package.

In 38 years of government service, Mr. Devaney, a hulking former college football lineman and Secret Service man, has been unnerving would-be miscreants. But now the Big Man, as Mr. Devaney’s colleagues call him, is taking on an incomparably bigger job, tracking a sum 50 times the agency’s annual budget as chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board – or as the irresistible acronym has it, RAT Board.

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