Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Who Are The State Department’s 100 ‘Special’ Government Employees? It Won’t Say

November 13, 2013 by  

ProPublica questions why the U.S. State Department won’t come clean about “special” employees, like Huma Abedin, who manage to hold down lucrative corporate jobs and partisan advisory positions while drawing a paycheck from the government. Originally Published Nov. 13, 2013.

By Justin Elliott and Liz Day

ProPublica

Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin drew scrutiny for a special arrangement that allowed her to work part time at the State Department while simultaneously maintaining a side gig working for a corporate consulting firm.

Under the arrangement, first reported by POLITICO, Abedin was a “special government employee,” a category created decades ago designed to allow experts to serve in government while keeping outside jobs.

So who else is a special government employee at the State Department? The department won’t say – even as eight other federal agencies readily sent us lists of their own special government employees.

A State Department spokeswoman did confirm that there are “about 100” such employees. But asked for a list, she added that, “As general policy, [the department] does not disclose employee information of this nature.”

Meanwhile, after we filed a Freedom of Information Act request in July for the same information, State responded in September that no such list actually exists: The human resources department “does not compile lists of personnel or positions in the category of ‘special government employee.’”

Creating such a list would require “extensive research” and thus the agency is not required to respond under FOIA, said a letter responding to our request.

In late September, after we told State we were going to publish a story on its refusal to provide the list, the agency said our FOIA request was being reopened. The agency said it would provide the records in a few weeks.

The State Department has since pushed back the delivery date three times and still hasn’t provided any list. It has been four months since we filed the original request.

Several other agencies, including the Energy and Commerce departments, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission, promptly responded to similar FOIA requests with lists of their own special government employees. Requests with several other agencies are still pending.

Agencies reported having anywhere from just one special government employee (SEC) to nearly 400 over the past several years (Energy Department). Many are academics, interns, or private industry professionals and they often serve on government advisory boards.

As for the State Department, two other special government employees have been identified recently, and both are former Clinton staffers. As of August ex-chief of staff Cheryl Mills was still working at the agency part time with a focus on Haiti, according to the Washington Post’s Al Kamen. Maggie Williams, who ran Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, worked at the agency’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in 2011 and 2012, according to POLITICO.

Abedin, for her part, was a special government employee between June 2012 when she resigned her position as deputy chief of staff, to February 2013. She also worked for Teneo, a consulting firm founded by former Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.

In a July letter to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Abedin rejected the Senator’s suggestion that she had used her government contacts to provide political intelligence for Teneo’s clients.

“I was not asked, nor did I undertake, any work on Teneo’s behalf before the Department,” Abedin wrote. She said her work consisted of providing “strategic advice and consulting services to the firm’s management team.”

Abedin said in the letter she sought the special arrangement with State because she wanted to spend the bulk of her time at home in New York following the birth of her son in December 2011.

Abedin made $135,000 working for State in 2012, and she and husband Anthony Weiner made approximately $355,000 in combined additional earnings. We don’t know how much Abedin was paid by Teneo or by the Clinton Foundation, which also employed her during this period.

Following time off during Weiner’s unsuccessful New York City mayoral bid, Abedin is now working directly for Clinton, in a private capacity, as her “Transition Director.”

Reporting contributed by Jonathan Lin.

ProPublica

is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. The organization’s work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” ProPublica seeks to produce journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them. ProPublica is headquartered in Manhattan. Its establishment was announced in October 2007. Operations commenced in January 2008, and publishing began in June 2008. http://www.propublica.org/

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Who Are The State Department’s 100 ‘Special’ Government Employees? It Won’t Say”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.