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Scott Bloch, Bush Whistle-Blower Protector, Faces Jail Time

4 years ago
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The former head of the whistle-blower protection office in the George W. Bush White House is expected to get a month in jail when he's sentenced next week on a charge of withholding information from congressional investigators.

Scott Bloch
, who ran the Office of Special Counsel, pleaded guilty in April 2010 to criminal contempt of Congress. He admitted withholding from House investigators information about hiring outside technicians to "scrub" computer files in his office in 2006.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson ruled late Wednesday that Bloch's plea requires "a mandatory minimum sentence of one month," The Washington Post reported.

Bloch, who made a deal with prosecutors, pleaded guilty with the expectation that he'd get probation, according to Talking Points Memo.

Defense attorneys pointed out that other defendants who have pleaded guilty to the same charge got probation -- including baseball star Miguel Tejada, who misled Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

But the judge rejected arguments from Bloch's lawyers and prosecutors that she has the discretion to impose a lesser sentence.

Robinson set Bloch's sentencing hearing for Monday.

Bloch was removed from his position in October 2008, after it was discovered he had ordered his office to erase all references to workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, claiming his office lacked the authority to protect gay and lesbian workers, according to the Post.

He was also the subject of a separate FBI investigation into whether he violated the Hatch Act, the federal statute designed to limit the ways in which federal employees may participate in partisan political activities.

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