Tags: ATF | paid | leave | working

Justice Dept: ATF Paid Agent on Leave While He Worked Elsewhere

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 10:47 PM

By Cathy Burke

Three ATF officials let a key figure in the flubbed Fast & Furious gun-running operation collect his government paycheck while on leave and working for financial giant JP Morgan, a Justice Department report has found.

The Washington Times reported Monday that the department's inspector general's findings, released last week, determined that former ATF official William McMahon's bosses “exercised poor judgment” in approving his paid leave while he worked elsewhere, and created potential conflicts of interest.

Republican leaders were the first to call out McMahon for the double dipping in August 2012.

The Justice Department report is the latest slam on the beleaguered Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has come under heavy fire for its Fast & Furious gun operation, as well as its mismanaged storefront gun-sales stings.

“We will review the report of investigation further and will take appropriate actions as necessary, consistent with applicable policies, laws and regulations,” ATF spokeswoman Beth Gosselin told the Times.

Meanwhile, the Times noted that Dennis Burke, Arizona's U.S. attorney at the time of the Fast & Furious scandal, was reprimanded by the bar association for his part in the operation, in which ATF agents allowed guns to be bought in the United States and smuggled across the border into Mexico in order to nab drug cartel kingpins.

Instead, traces of nearly all the guns were lost, and they were used in crimes and linked to the deaths of two federal agents.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa told the Times that Burke's reprimand illustrates why the House needs to continue pursuing contempt of Congress charges against Attorney General Eric Holder, who has refused to turn over documents subpoenaed by Issa.

“These documents will shed light on the nature of the department’s false denials of improper conduct and its response to Congress, including misconduct of which Dennis Burke was aware, that Attorney General Holder refused to discuss with Congress," Issa said.

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