Who’s Protecting Whom?

The Drug Enforcement Agency has the way of the Secret Service, at least in Colombia: partying with prostitutes. DEA seems to have taken the thing a step further, though: the parties appear to be funded by the drug cartels the partying agents were sent to investigate.

The agents’ punishment? Two weeks of suspension. Naturally, Congress is…dismayed…both with the behavior and with the wrist-slap. How the anger is expressed is instructive, though. DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart testified in front of the House Oversight Committee that there’s not much more she can do; civil service system law and regulations keep her from doing more. She’s not even allowed to have input on the sanctions to be applied for such misbehavior.

The solution to such impediments is obvious.

However, Congressman Stephen Lynch (D, MA) won’t can’t see that obvious solution. Instead, he’s accusing Leonhart of having a hand in the failure:

You’re protecting the people who solicited prostitutes who had 15 to 20 sex parties, went through this whole operation, and used taxpayer money to do it.

And there’s the Committee’s Ranking Member, Elijah Cummings (D, MD) asking Leonhart

Do you think you’re the right person for this job?

Of course, there’s no thought by the Democrats (and apparently none by the Republicans, either) to changing the civil service laws that Leonhart thinks handcuff her. There’s no thought here to curtailing the power of the various civil service unions so that Agency and Department heads can fire miscreants promptly for misbehavior.

Gotta protect those unions. There’s too much money at stake here.

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