Paul Prouty, the former Region 8 commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service caught up in the Western Regions Conference scandal, cleared his name of any wrongdoing and could be heading back to the agency.
A Merit Systems Protection Board administrative law judge ruled Monday that GSA wrongfully terminated Prouty in June 2012 and awarded him back pay for the last nine months and told GSA to put him back in his former job.
“Mr. Prouty is very pleased with the decision,” said Bill Bransford, Prouty’s attorney and a partner with the firm Shaw, Bransford and Roth, in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio. “I was never able to understand what the evidence was that said Paul Prouty did anything wrong. That was the main argument we made throughout the case.”
Shaw, Bransford and Roth have a show, FEDTalk, on Federal News Radio.
MSPB administrative judge Patricia Miller wrote in her decision, “the agency has failed to submit into the board’s record sufficient evidence to prove by a preponderance of evidence the charge of conduct unbecoming a federal employee. Therefore, given this lack of evidence, the agency’s action removing the appellant from the federal service must be reversed.” GSA has until April 15 to decide whether to appeal Miller’s decision to the full MSPB board.
“We are disappointed with the Merit Systems Protection Board’s ruling on this personnel matter. We are exploring all of our available options, including an appeal,” said GSA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara in an email statement. “GSA has taken strong action against those officials whom we believe were responsible and will continue to do so where appropriate. The new GSA leadership has taken significant steps over the past year to improve internal controls and oversight at the agency. To date, GSA has already saved $28 million in conference and travel spending.”
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, 6 a.m.-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere.
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