In my previous articles on the “bogus benefit” of “preference” in the Federal hiring process, I highlighted the article by Ken Olson in the American Legion Magazine, which carried the title of “bogus benefit,” as well as the fine work of the Inspector General of the Department of Energy whose investigation of the hiring practices at the Bonneville Power Administration substantiated the charge that Prohibited Personnel Practices were used in 49% of the hiring cases over a three year period – 1200 hires in all – in order to circumvent the legal rights of veterans and non-veterans alike. I also stated that at least two Federal Agencies, the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) and the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), whose mission is to ensure that veterans preference laws are obeyed, utterly fail to perform their mission. And I showed the government’s own numbers that prove that if one Federal Agency – the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – complied with the law, more than 20,000 veterans would have a secure, high-paying job.
Evidence, evidence and more evidence of wrong-doing, yet the above two concerned agencies do nothing, much like the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) would do nothing in conjunction with the evidence presented to them that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. Mr. Madoff had to confess to running the Ponzi scheme, and even then, they were reluctant to take action.
Through the Discovery Process in my own cases, I have legally acquired much hard evidence that HHS openly flouts the laws regarding veterans’ preference. Some of the evidence reveals a deep-seated antipathy towards the rights of veterans, and a willingness among hiring authorities to blatantly conspire to circumvent their rights, which is the same situation that Inspector General Friedman found at Bonneville. Consider the odious emails of Omer Khan. Please read them a couple of times. Irrefutably, he knows that under a “lawful selection process” at least four veterans are “blocking” (to use his term) his preselected candidate. He seeks a way around them. With a nod and a wink, they agree to change the experience requirements to fit the candidate, a “classic” and illegal method of hiring. But Mr. Khan is still not satisfied, and fires back with:
“What if there are more vets again, then what do we do?”
For sure, he is not envisioning “thanking them for their service.” He is openly seeking to discriminate against them because of their military service, and the fact that they are “blocking” his pre-selected candidate.
It remains my contention that if any racial, ethnic, religious or sexual orientation group was substituted for “vets” in Mr. Khan’s sentence above, he would have been removed from Federal Service long ago. If it is wrong and illegal to discriminate against these other groups – as I believe it should be – then why is it OK to discriminate against “vets”?
The senior leadership at HHS, as well as the MSPB and the OSC has known about these emails for years, and has done nothing about it.
In just a few days, March 21-23, there will be another hearing on HHS’ habitual violation of the rights of veterans at the Denver Field Office of the MSPB, which is actually located in nearby Lakewood, CO. It is located in the high-rise building at 165 South Union Blvd., Lakewood, 80228, and the phone number is (303)-969-5101. If the emails of Omer Khan stir some visceral anger in you, good, then channel it in a constructive manner by attending the hearing. Please be there by 8:00 am. We could be discussing the job that you should have, by law. Indeed, you might see other evidence that names you as a person who is “blocking” the non-veteran to whom they are granting “preference.”
John Paul Jones