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Anne Wagner: Vice-Chairman Of The Merit Systems Protection Board Named In Discrimination Suit

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Before President Obama named Anne M. Wagner as Vice-Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in July 2009, and before the Senate confirmed her in November 2009, Ms. Wagner was identified as a "responsible management official" in an employment discrimination complaint. Prior to coming to the MSPB, Wagner served as General Counsel of the U.S. Government Accountability Office's Personnel Appeals Board. Today, Wagner is both MSPB's Vice-Chairman and a principal character in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case, Williams v. Dodaro (Civil Action No. 1:07-CV-1452), is now before U.S. District Judge John Bates.

Members of the Coalition for Change, Inc. (C4C), an advocacy support group for present and former federal employees injured due to workplace discrimination, are most concerned. They have called for the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to conduct an investigation. They want the OGE, which serves to foster high ethical standards for executive branch employees and to strengthen the public's confidence that the Government's business is conducted with impartiality, to discern if Wagner's presence as MSPB Vice-Chairman constitutes a conflict of interest. The MSPB exists to protect the rights of federal civil service employees. It is designed to provide federal employees with an opportunity to appeal adverse and unfair personnel decisions.

C4C requests an OGE investigation as to whether Ms. Wagner was forthcoming and/or misled the White House and Congress about her role in the pending case Williams v Dodaro. In a letter dated October 20, 2011 to the OGE, Mr. Philip Taylor, C4C's President, states, "Ms. Wagner's continued service on the Board is troubling and problematic in light of serious allegations against her in Williams v. Dodaro and the fact that a federal judge has denied the Government's motion for Summary Judgment." Wagner's term as MSPB's Vice Chairman is scheduled to run until March 2014.

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Tanya Ward Jordan is the author of 17 STEPS: A Federal Employee's Guide For Tackling Workplace Discrimination. She serves as President and Founder of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). C4C is an proactive non-profit self-help organization (more...)

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