Friday, January 25, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed this week that several employees who were “removed” from their positions in the wake of the Libya terror attack are still being paid and have not actually left her department.
But she also gave a surprising answer when asked why: Her hands are tied, she said.
Amid complaints from lawmakers that no government official has really been held accountable for missteps in the run-up to the attack, Clinton claimed current federal regulations limit what disciplinary actions can be taken.
The sticking point appears to be what constitutes a “breach of duty,” which is the threshold for action. Whether it turns out the secretary has more leeway, lawmakers expressed a keen interest Thursday in changing the law.
“I’m sure that Congress will work on this important issue so that those held responsible for ignoring repeated requests for more security will not continue to enjoy their paid vacations, which is what administrative leave with salary is,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., former chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
Clinton confirmed that, while four individuals were “removed from their jobs,” three of those employees who were placed on administrative leave are still on leave and being paid.
The New York Post reported last month that the fourth, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, resigned from his position but not the department. The State Department has not disputed that.