Federal bureaucrats don't get fired for serious misbehavior

Federal employees get enviable pay and perks, especially retirement benefits that are unthinkable these days for most private sector workers. But perhaps the biggest perk of all is job security, near-immunity from getting fired no matter how serious the misconduct. There is a convincing pattern of tolerance of misconduct that is bound to produce more misbehavior in the absence of fear of losing one’s job.

Jim McElhatton reports in the Washington Times:

A program analyst at the Department of Housing and Urban Development spent up to three hours a day for five years working on private business deals — including once arranging to supply lap dancers for a private party — while he was supposed to be doing government work.

Another HUD employee — an auditor — was investigated for running a trucking business from her government office, according to investigative records obtained by The Washington Times.

In both cases, the investigators referred their findings to prosecutors, who declined to press criminal charges, sending the cases back to HUD officials, who let both employees remain on the job.

Why should they be allowed to steal from taxpayers and keep their jobs? They have been paid for the time they were using for their own private benefit. They stole that pay. Case closed.

Yet out of millions of federal bureaucrats:

“I can probably count all the people on two hands I’ve seen fired,” Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican, said at a hearing last week into the EPA misconduct. “But something needs to be changed when people are breaking the law, when you have this GS-14 sitting there abusing his position, his salary, ripping off the taxpayers.”

It is time for Republicans to run on a platform of holding federal employees accountable for their behavior.