A Veterans Affairs Department employee bilks the government $19,000 by falsely claiming locality pay. Some two dozen Securities and Exchange Commission staffers access pornography while on the job. A Transportation Department employee is fired after a bribery investigation.
In all cases, federal employees committed offenses — in some cases, potentially criminal — yet their agencies refused to disclose their identities, saying that would amount to an unwarranted infringement on their right to privacy. Critics counter that federal employees caught doing wrong must be held publicly accountable.
“They’re paid by the taxpayers, so they should be accountable to the taxpayers,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in an interview. Anyone found to have abused the public trust, whether a contractor or government employee, McCain said, “should be identified.”