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Former Bush Official Pleads to Criminal Contempt of Congress

Scott Bloch/govt. photo

Scott Bloch/govt. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The ex-head of the  U.S. Office of Special Counsel, who was appointed by President Bush, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington to criminal contempt of Congress “for willfully and unlawfully withholding pertinent information from a House committee investigating his decision to have several government computers wiped” of emails, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Sentencing for Scott J. Bloch is set for July 20. He faces up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. The federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 0 to six months in jail.

Bloch, who is  also the former head of  the Justice Department’s Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives,  headed up the Office of Special Counsel from 2004 and 2008, which protects federal employees “with an emphasis on protecting federal whistleblowers”, according to a government description.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged that Bloch withheld information from the  U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which had been investigating “whether and why Bloch: directed the deletion of e-mails or files on any of Bloch’s OSC-issued computers in December of 2006 by using the computer repair service Geeks On Call; directed that the computer repair service delete e-mails or files contained on the computers of two of his OSC aides; and directed that any such deletion of computer files be done by use of a “seven-level wipe” process.”

In May 2008, FBI agents raided his offices.

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