Thursday, February 4, 2016

Senior Education official collapses after heated four-hour hearing on Hill

...The lawmakers’ concerns centered on an inspector general’s investigation that found Harris ran an after-hours car-detailing and home-theater-installation business that employed two subordinates from his agency and also allegedly accepted payments from other subordinates for the work.
The hearing also examined Harris’s effort to help a relative find work at the department and his close friendship with an agency vendor whose company has been awarded about $10 million in contracts to perform work that falls under the purview of his office.
Harris also failed to report an estimated $10,000 in income from his outside activities on federal disclosure forms and to the Internal Revenue Service, according to federal officials...

...They were also infuriated to learn that Harris was not subjected to disciplinary action and received regular $17,000 annual bonuses on top of his yearly salary of $180,000 even as he was being investigated by the inspector general. The bonuses also came during a period when Harris’s department failed to meet federal goals concerning data security.

"Let me tell you what you’re conveying to the American people and, more importantly, to the 4,000 employees of the Department of Education,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). “You can bend the rules — it’s just a matter of who you are.”...

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