Drain the Swamp: “Only The Best” people can get hired through their family’s misconduct, (and fired for their own)

  • Published on August 13th, 2020

One thing that will never not be funny is the fact that, as a Presidential candidate, Donald Trump said he would “surround [him]self with only the best and most serious people,” and that he “will hire the best people” to staff his administration; since then, at least 14 of his aids, donors or advisors have been indicted or put in prison, and he’s otherwise attacked at least 17 of his own hires.

Trump's mad sideshow marches on
(Image CC by DonkeyHotey on Flickr)

By Climate Denier Roundup

Because, as it turns out, using conservative (climate-change-denying) organizations to staff the Federal government means you’re actually choosing some of the worst people.

For example, at InsideClimate News, Marianne Lavelle recently detailed how Ken Cuccinelli’s climate denial in Virginia, where he took his job as the state’s Attorney General very seriously, laid the groundwork for his tyrannical turn as Trump’s 2nd-in-command at the Department of Homeland Security, where he used federal officials to invade Portland, Oregon.

But the series of blunders resulting from Trump’s hiring of Doug Domenech (from the industry-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation) to be a key official at the Department of Interior is much more amusing.

The latest there, from Kevin Bogardus at E&E, is that Eric Frandy, the son-in-law that Domenech used his perch at DOI to lean on the EPA to hire, was fired during his probationary period for misconduct.

Which means that Doug Domenech went through the trouble of schmoozing then-EPA official Ryan Jackson at a concert, to convince Jackson to give his daughter Emily’s husband a job at the EPA. (Jackson now lobbies for the National Mining Association, because of course.)

After repeated follow-up messages that an Inspector General detailed in its investigation of Domenech, the EPA hired Frandy for a job paying just over $100,000 a year as Criminal Investigator for the EPA.

Did he deserve the job? Well, the investigation found “a reasonable person would believe that Domenech appeared to misuse his position in connection with [Frandy’s] application.”

But was it because of Domenech’s insistence? Jackson refused to respond to the six interview requests the Interior’s Inspector General sent, which is odd because he appeared perfectly happy to tell E&E’s Bogardus that Domenech’s repeated proddings were just “a suggestion.” (What, besides potentially being under oath, would’ve motivated Bogardus not to tell the IG the same thing? Surely he was simply too busy, and not because falsely answering questions under oath is a crime or anything…)

Anyway, despite the sterling recommendation from his father-in-law, it seems Frandy was not quite one of the best people, as he only lasted a few months in the position before being terminated in July of 2018.

The paperwork obtained by E&E lists it as a termination during a probationary/trial period, with the reason for termination listed as “misconduct.”

Meaning it appears that misconduct got Frandy hired, and fired.

Only the best people, indeed!

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

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