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Embattled OSC head to resign at end of term in January

[JURIST] US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) [official website] head Scott J. Bloch [official profile] announced in a letter [text, PDF] to President George W. Bush Monday that he will resign when his five-year term ends in January. Bloch could remain head of the OSC for one year after his term expires or until the Senate confirms his replacement, but the letter indicates he will end his term in January. Bloch's announcement comes after increased calls for his resignation following a 2005 complaint [text, PDF] accusing him of retaliatory acts against OSC employees, violations of free-speech rights, unwarranted case closures and unethical hiring practices. In his letter to Bush, Bloch wrote:

As you well know, doing the right thing can result in much criticism and controversy from every side. I am proud to have enforced your stated policy goal of upholding the rule of law, enforcing the law as it is written, not according to fads or special interest pressure.
AP has more.

Bloch has denied the accusations, but said that the OSC is cooperating with the investigation. In May, agents from the White House Office of Personnel Management and the FBI searched Bloch's home [JURIST report; NPR report] as part of an investigation into the complaint. Federal agents also reportedly investigated claims that he had destroyed evidence that might have supported the allegations.

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