The Social Security Administration rarely dumps a political appointee, but Martin H. Gerry, deputy commissioner for disability and income security programs, one of the more powerful policy jobs at Social Security, has been booted out.
The agency has a new commissioner, Michael J. Astrue, who is under pressure from Congress to deal with backlogged disability claims, a process that Gerry had tried to streamline.
Employees said Gerry was escorted from the building, his computer seized and the locks in his office changed. His firing on March 16 was rather abrupt but "not totally uncommon" for a political appointee, Gerry told our colleague Stephen Barr.
"I've heard of it happening before. It was harsh," Gerry said.
His departure set off a wave of rumors that Gerry was snarled in allegations of travel abuses or improper contract activities, but Gerry said that "as far as I know, there isn't any investigation going on. Wouldn't even know what it would be about."
He added: "Obviously, they wanted me to leave quickly and not talk to people there about what was happening."
Social Security isn't talking about what happened either, except to confirm that Gerry is no longer employed by the agency.
Apr 2, 2007
Martin Gerry's Firing Makes The Washington Post
We have complete confirmation of the story now. From today's Washington Post: