Government Employees under Investigation Continue to Collect Salaries…For a Long Time

Friday, January 04, 2013
Paul Brachfeld

Getting suspended from a federal job can be a prolonged nightmare, or as good as a vacation, depending on one’s perspective.


What makes a suspension a dream situation is the fact that the workers often continue getting paid their full salaries, while the government takes months and even years deciding if they did anything wrong, which they often didn’t.


For example, Paul Brachfeld, the inspector general for the National Archives, spent the last four months of 2012 on suspension after a subordinate accused him of misconduct. During that time, he collected his paycheck every month for this $186,000 position.


As of December 30, Brachfeld had not been interviewed by the federal panel that investigates complaints against inspectors general. It meets only quarterly.


Getting paid not to work may sound ideal, but the reality is that Brachfeld and others like him are left in limbo, uncertain as to their future.


Others have waited as long as six years to learn their fate. That was the case for Blake DeVolld, a civilian Air Force intelligence officer, who lost top-secret security clearance in 2006 after his ex-wife told federal agents that he had classified documents in his home.


After half a dozen years, the Air Force exonerated him and restored his security clearance. He collected his $93,000 salary for four years, but was suspended without pay for another two.


Exactly how many workers have been in Brachfeld’s and DeVolld’s place is unknown, because the government doesn’t keep track of those on suspension, according to Lisa Rein of The Washington Post.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Civil Servants Put On Paid Administrative Leave Can Get Stuck In An Ill-Defined Limbo (by Lisa Rein, The Washington Post)

Bill Would Ban Bonuses for Federal Employees under Investigation…If They Work for GSA (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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