Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
The long-awaited inspector generalâ€™s report on the Justice Departmentâ€™s botched gun-running scheme is finished, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on Wednesday.
But along with that news comes more questions: Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are demanding to know why a top ATF official involved in Operation Fast and Furious remains on paid leave from ATF â€” while simultaneously drawing a six-figure salary from J.P. Morgan, a major investment bank.
In a letter to the acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Issa and Grassley asked why the Justice Department would approve such a special arrangement for Bill McMahon.
â€œUnder any reading of the relevant personnel regulations, it appears that ATF management was under no obligation to approve this sort of arrangement,â€ wrote Issa and Grassley. â€œGiven McMahonâ€™s outsized role in the Fast and Furious scandal, the decision to approve an extended annual leave arrangement in order to attain pension eligibility and facilitate full-time, outside employment while still collecting a full-time salary at ATF raises a host of questions about both the propriety of the arrangement and the judgment of ATF management.â€
Issa and Grassley say the ATF has made it possible for McMahon to â€œdouble dip for nearly half a year by receiving two full-time paychecks â€” one from the taxpayer and one from the private sector.â€
They noted that the treatment of McMahon is â€œin sharp contrastâ€ to how the ATF has treated whistleblowers such as Special Agent John Dodson, â€œwho is told he must wait until the Inspector Generalâ€™s report is complete before the agency will even consider his simple request for a statement retracting the false statements made about him by agency leadership.â€