By Patricia H Kushlis
Is there a reason that Bill Fitzgibbons - the apparent Hotline Coordinator in the office of the State Department’s Inspector General - e-mailed Joan Wadelton on July 3, 2014 at 2:07 in the afternoon just as the US government was shutting down for the July 4 holiday weekend to notify her that the IG’s office had decided to close its investigation of her case against the Department’s Bureau of Human Resources for lack of additional evidence?
And then on Friday July 18 at 11:59 pm (one minute before midnight) responded to her request for supporting documents (see e-mail exchange below) with what one could only consider the most cursory brush-off again via an OIG Hotline e-mail?
Is this how State’s OIG normally deals with cases involving serious charges of fraud which have been in litigation for years?
I realize all too well that the State Department contains far too many hyper careerist staff - especially in the geographic bureaus - for whom burning the midnight oil is considered routine – often for reasons of careerism – but these recent Hotline e-mails to Joan from the IG’s office both sent at weird hours and in unusual fonts – one in dark blue Times Roman, the other in black Arial bold/italic - make no sense at least as displays of professionalism by this country’s oldest bureaucracy.
They suggest to me that at the very least, IG Steve Linick should investigate his own staff for: 1) lack of professionalism; 2) peculiar working hours (the IG’s Office is not the 24-Hour Operations Center Watch, the Executive Secretariat or the geographic bureaus after all); and 3) overwork. Neither OIG Hotline email, by the by, was even signed – with real or otherwise signatures. Furthermore, no paperwork has thus far followed.
The Hotline Correspondence
Here, for the record, is a copy of the Hotline correspondence I received from Joan with the most recent e-mail first. (Note: I removed her personal e-mail address for privacy reasons. Also note the dark blue font color used for the body of the text of Fitgibbons July 18 message):