Remember those training seminars a few years ago that the VA held which cost us American taxpayers millions of dollars? Well, Congress has been exercising it’s oversight responsibility finally and questioning the people responsible for those lavish parties. John Sepulveda is the latest, the third, to hide behind the fifth amendment, according to the Washington Times link sent to us by Country Singer;
Go ahead and click through, read the whole thing.
I certainly have no wish to deprive anyone of their absolute right under the 5th Amendment to remain silent.
But our civil service system is badly broken when the official actions of employees is effectively exempt from oversight by this means.
A simple fix would be that any invocation of the 5th is not merely grounds for, but results in, automatic termination.
I’d like to remind you that Scooter Libby didn’t have to talk himself into a (dubious at best) conviction, but that President Bush made clear to all appointed officials during the Plame investigation that their continued employment was contingent upon speaking with an cooperating with the investigators.
Instead, with civil servants such as Louis Lerner, and now Mr. Sepulveda, we see employees who cannot be compelled to testify (fair enough) but who also face only the punishment of indefinite suspension… with pay! That’s what you and I would call “vacation.”
Hell of a way to run a railroad.