Jul 19, 2016

Eanes Nomination Stalled

     I don't know what's going on but there's been no action on the Senate floor on the nomination of Andrew Lamont Eanes to become Deputy Commissioner of Social Security even though the nomination was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee almost three months ago. At this point, it's not clear that the Senate is willing to act on any Obama nominee.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cause for celebration!

Anonymous said...

The stalling of Eanes confirmation has to do with an elaborate cover-up of misconduct and wrongdoing, and Colvin’s insistence that she remain in the top position at SSA to oversee the cover-up, and suspected imminent developments/charges which could potentially arise as part of the scandal they are trying to cover-up. As the head of SSA, Colvin has exclusive control as to any discipline issued by the Agency to the wrongdoers outside of the criminal justice system, regardless of what discipline is recommended by the SSA OIG, OSC, EEOC or DOJ. She is ONLY hanging on to protect these individuals from harsh disciplinary measures which could potentially be recommended in certain cases. This type of cronyism and manipulation is inconsistent with civil service merit system and must be addressed.

For example, even though one of the aforementioned investigative authorities may recommend removal, disbarment from Federal service, loss of law license and present convincing evidence supporting their recommended disciplinary action, Colvin has exclusive authority to overrule their recommendation and choose a lesser form of discipline, such as a demotion, suspension, reprimand, warning or no discipline at all. So, unless the individuals charged are brought into the criminal justice system, there will likely be little, if any, accountability. Former ROCALJ Garmon comes to mind. He was promoted to Falls Church, ODAR headquarters, in 2015, despite known allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing. His recent departure to be a line ALJ in the Raleigh, NC, hearing office, while he waits on a new hearing office he gerrymandered to be built close to his home outside Atlanta, GA, intimates his ONLY accountability for the misconduct and wrongdoing he engaged may have been a demotion, e.g., a mere slap on the wrist, which is outrageous if this is true.

The highest Agency official should NOT have exclusive decision making control over these types of situations. Decisions should be made by a panel of unbiased individuals not associated with the Agency in any way. Colvin is directly involved in cronyism. One may recall Top Officials in her inner circle withheld the McKenzie investigative report about the failure of the computer DCPS and waste of $3+ million dollars in 2014, until the Senate confirmed her nomination for SSA Commissioner. By the time they got around to considering it in late December, the cover-up had been leaked and Colvin was neither confirmed, or renominated by Obama. In the meantime, other scandals have come into the spot light, and the immediate action by Top Officials is to cover-up. Colvin continues to protect them. Interestingly, Colvin has not protected SSA employees who have been the targets of some of this misconduct and wrongdoing. This cronyism must stop.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that both will be gone by December.

Anonymous said...



Ms Colvin has stated multiple times in executive meetings that she is staying until January 19, 2017.

Anonymous said...

This is the second time you've asserted Dockie is in the Raleigh HO. He isn't there and he isn't coming, and he isn't hearing Raleigh cases and isn't involved with their operations at all. Literally aside from the rare emails he sends in his new OCALJ capacity to everyone in ODAR, he has nothing to do with Raleigh.

I'm really, really curious what you heard and where you heard it to be so certain of something that's absolutely not true.

Anonymous said...

Dockie is not in the RALEIGH HO, you need to get your facts right

Anonymous said...

@7:02 & 9:51AM,

FYI, routine Google search quickly reveals the Disabilityjudges.com website lists Garmon in the Raleigh, NC, HO. This information has also recently appeared in other places, as well.

Social Security News said...

I practice before Raleigh ODAR. Judge Garmon is definitely not here nor is there any sign that he's coming. I'm going to delete any further comments suggesting that he is because they may mislead people.

Anonymous said...

So, Garmon was promoted to OCALJ from Atlanta ROCALJ despite known allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing, and there has been NO Accountability. This is more in tune with the ODAR top management and cronyism I know so well. Sad. There must be accountability for misconduct, wrongdoing and roles played in scandal - NOT PROMOTIONS!

Anonymous said...

Newsflash it wasn't a promotion it was a move to get him out of heading a regional office, leading the largest region. Here, move to Falls Church where Judge Allen can watch what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

@12:05PM: I hear you. This is more in keeping with the ODAR I know. Was there any truth to a recent post on another thread on this blog concerning his gerrymandering a new hearing office be built outside Atlanta near his home, even though it would not be convenient for claimants and others, and there is allegedly an office door with his name on it when the construction is complete?

Anonymous said...

I have no idea really but I would speculate that is not true. I was under the impression the agency is prevented from building any new offices under the Freeze the Footprint XO. Even if we aren't I would assume office locations would be determined by BFQM not OCALJ let alone a former RCALJ. Anything could happen, it sounds like it could have been something he was promised in exchange for giving up his RCALJ post. Otherwise, I don't know why he would have given it up. It wasn't a promotion, he's not making more money these guys are all at the SES salary cap basically. He's a southern man from Mississippi, DC doesn't seem like his style. Things like this happen when you have a system that requires a showing of good cause to fire or move people around.

Anonymous said...

A12:50pm -- One of the Atlanta-area hearing offices is set to be moving about 20 miles north, to a northern suburb which is convenient to only a relatively few claimants in its service area -- and which has no public transit to its door (would require riding a MARTA train and then catching a bus, which apparently goes in the vicinity only every other trip and doesn't have a bus stop near the new office. Trip would be lengthy and frustrating.)
Interestingly, apparently Garmon lives only a short distance from the new hearing office, and SSA is building him an office as part of the new hearing office even though his work station is Falls Church VA.
The ALJs in the hearing office have filed a grievance because SSA kept all this hush-hush for years, failing to bargain with AALJ. Even the ALJs don't want to work so far north, given Atlanta's horrible traffic. It doesn't appear that the new hearing office would have any extra amenities than the present one.

Anonymous said...

Is this kind of like the Republicans not deciding on a Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland until after the election?

If so and Democratic Clinton is elected, will it be like a domino effect where all the nominees will be considered. Or are the Repubs willing to stall even hearing these nominations 2, 3, even 4 years down the road.

Not even sure how they have the constitutional authority to do this but I am sure they have a loophole.

Anonymous said...

@3:42PM: No, this is not like the situation you describe. To the contrary, it appears what you have here is ROCALJ Garmon of Atlanta Region IV was pressured to leave his ROCALJ position and be stationed in OCALJ in Falls Church, ODAR headquarters, after several allegations and investigations of misconduct and wrongdoing arose of which he was directly involved as the ROCALJ. Presumably, his move to Falls Church was disciplinary so Judge Allen could keep a close eye on him, although some speculate his move was a promotion insofar as it was to headquarters. Garmon apparently gerrymandered the relocation of a HO far north of Atlanta close to his home, and was given an office he chose, even though he will technically be considered stationed in Falls Church and not holding hearings in that official, which has ALJ's in that HO upset.

@1:39PM: Isn't it interesting a showing of good cause is required to fire someone like Garmon, but he was allowed to illegally force two longtime SA's of which I am personally aware out of their jobs and careers over a period of several years for no good reason, and I understand many other career Federal employees. None of the employees he illegally forced out or their jobs and careers were able To return unless or until good cause could be established for their removal, which in the cases I am personally aware, would never happen because these SA's were top notch. Since none of these employees were given the special treatment he is being given, e.g., return to a HO he gerrymandered close to his home and keep his ALJ job and career, justice is NOT being served, and those whose lives he destroyed will not rest until he is held fully accountable.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:37

Had you looked one level deeper at that ALJ disposition data you would have noticed a number of ALJs that issued a very small number decisions for an office in a year. This happens a lot. A regional ALJ might have to take a case for some reason. We may have a random judge come in an pinch hit for a day of hearings because our ALJ got sick or something. That doesn't indicate the judge is part of that office. Sheesh. Do a little more research before throwing accusations around.

Also, the broad consensus is that Ollie was called back home to Falls Church because OCALJ finally got sick of the shenanigans he let Gloria Bozeman get away with for all those years.

Anonymous said...

@1:03PM:

Having been a SA with ODAR nearly 3 decades, I know all about ALJ's going to other offices to hold hearings and I know most of my facts from my experience. You apparently failed to notice I indicated in my post above there were other places I had read this, including this blog. I cannot recall each and every place. Yesterday, I simply did a routine Google search and noted what I saw. For the record, everything I state in my posts is true based on my experience, and to the best of my knowledge.

As for Garmon, I know all about his shenanigans for which he, not Gloria, is responsible.

Margaret Kibbee said...

Disabilityjudges.com is not the most accurate accounting of where judges are. It's a good reference to get an idea of a judges's approval, denial, dismissal, etc.

Anonymous said...

Disabilityjudges.com just pulls the data from SSA's publicly available ALJ disposition data...

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Informative blog!!!!!!!

State Disability Benefits

Anonymous said...

He will be departing SSA in the next few weeks. We were told in a meeting about 3 hours ago that he will be leaving.

Anonymous said...

I came to see if there are any updates on why he is leaving? It has long been rumored at SSA that he was going to take of COSS when Colvin leaves. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

It's a shame if Mr Eanes does leave. He's innovative and relates very well to people. I also think he can better navigate through some of the political roadblocks and pot holes.
His experience speaks for itself, but as a person, well, they just don't come any better.

Anonymous said...

I suspect it has to do with Colvin refusing to step down from her Acting Commissioner position until Obama's term is over. Colvin was never confirmed SSA Commissioner, and Obama did not renominate her. Obama subsequently nominated Eanes, and it appeared the Senate Finance Committee would have confirmed him. The problem is Colvin refused to leave until Obama's term expires. There was a ridiculous effort to allow Colvin to step down to a SES position, allow Eanes to be the Commissioner, but Colvin to retain all the power of the Acting SSA Commissioner until Obama's term expires.

I have always maintained Colvin's refusal to leave or let go of her Acting Commissioner power is directly related to protecting certain SSA employees accused of misconduct and wrongdoing from being held accountable by the Agency. In other words, if the DOJ decides it's not going to prosecute, but EEOC and SSA OIG urge the Agency to take some form of disciplinary action, the decision as to what action is taken rests exclusively with Colvin, the Acting Commissioner. She desires to maintain her ultimate power position to protect some of the individuals involved. I am aware of one situation in which some of the wrongdoer's who engaged in misconduct are African-American and reportedly have ties to her.

This is NOT right. Colvin should NEVER be allowed to manipulate the system to the advantage of some over others, let alone get by with it. That Obama chose NOT to put a stop to this non-sense of Colvin retaining her Acting Commissioner power regardless of Eanes' nomination/pending confirmation until Obama's term ends is disgraceful. Why he acquiesced on this does not reflect well on his willingness to deal with misconduct and wrongdoing in his administration, despite all of his advocacy for more transparency in government during his tenure. One can only hope Congress will take some action, or that a complaint will later be filed at the OSC, so they can take the necessary action Colvin refuses and is trying her best to cover-up.

Since Colvin is staying until Obama's term expires, I would think this leaves Eanes' nomination/pending confirmation out in the cold. Having a political appointees position not begin until the start of a new administration would not go over well with a new administration who will want to name their own political appointees.

Anonymous said...

Hill talk is that ONE democrat senator has quietly put a hold on Mr. Eanes' vote. Wonder if it's a friend of Colvin?

Anonymous said...

@1:57:

Probably Senator Elijah Cummings?

Anonymous said...

3:02PM Here:

I just realized Elijah Cummings is a Congressman rather than a Senator. I knew he was a representative from Maryland where SSA is headquartered, so I thought of him first.

As for Democratic Senator's who may have quietly put a hold on Eanes confirmation, you guess is as good as mine.

I know Barbara Mikulski is a Senator from Maryland who is retiring, but I am not sure of how close she is to Colvin. The only other Democratic Senator who comes to mind is Cory Booker. I know employees upset with personnel practices in Wisconsin have been in communication with Senator Tammy Baldwin. Since they are upset with the status quo, I cannot imagine Baldwin would be a strong Colvin supporter.

Anonymous said...

His going away party is next week.