Aug 31, 2016

ALJ To Plead Guilty To Having Sex With Claimant

     From the Birmingham News:
A former Social Security Administration judge in Alabama allegedly had sex with a woman claimant at the federal court house in Tuscaloosa, according to charges involving a public official accepting a gratuity, theft, and obstruction filed against him Tuesday.
Paul Stribling Conger, Jr.,73, of Akron, Ala., also entered a plea agreement Tuesday with the U.S. Attorney's Office to the charges of theft of government property, obstructing justice, and accepting a gratuity, according to court documents. ...
In July 2013, Conger was presiding over the hearing of a claimant, a woman identified as T.M.
T.M. was subsequently approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which included future monthly payments and retroactive benefits. In November 2013, T.M. discussed Conger with a mutual acquaintance of theirs, identified as Individual A.
"Individual A" related information to T.M. about Conger that led T.M. to approach Conger in an effort to receive her retroactive SSI benefits, totaling about $10,000  in a lump sum because T.M. needed the money all at once.
On Nov. 19, 2013, T.M. met Conger in his chambers at the federal courthouse in Tuscaloosa. T.M. was seeking to receive the retroactive SSI benefits she had been awarded in a lump sum. ...
At the federal courthouse, on that occasion, the two engaged in a sex act and other sexual contact. T.M. and Conger remained in communication by phone, including calls and text messages over the ensuing weeks. ...
During the month of December 2013, Conger met with and paid a person only identified as "Individual B" money to obtain T.M.'s phone and destroy it. Conger provided information from T.M.'s SSA files, including T.M.'s confidential medical information and social security account number, in order to assist Individual B in locating T.M. ...

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I have been saying all along, the corruption, misconduct, including criminal, wrongdoing and frequent cover-up by ODAR/SSA officials, is NOT confined to Huntington, WV.

Although I understand Senator Johnson recently sent a letter to Acting SSA Commissioner Carolyn Colvin requesting her to address many instances of Retaliation in SSA, what good will it do, since she herself has been drawn into and become a participant in the cover-up's, e.g., she was NOT confirmed SSA Commissioner, nor renominated; she offered to step down to an SES position after Andrew Lamont Eanes was close to being confirmed Commissioner, providing she could retain power as the HEAD of SSA so she would have Exclusive authority as to whether to address the misconduct and wrongdoing, or discipline those known to have engaged in misconduct and wrongdoing in any way; and in the end, she successfully managed to push Eanes out the door, despite his nomination by the President a long time ago and all but confirmation by the Senate Finance Committee without any response from the President or Congress.

Now, talk of sweet deals and mere slaps on the wrists for management officials who engaged in misconduct and wrongdoing, e.g., former ROCALJ Ollie Garmon, etc.

It seems Colvin's response to the Senator's letter will not and cannot be one of accountability because she herself has been far too involved in the cover-ups at this point to legitimately address any issues pertaining to accountability.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see anything in what has been released so far to indicate SSA employees were complicit in this or even aware of it until shortly before this whole process started. Unless your contention is that Individual A or B were Dockie or Carolyn or something.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to see here, a simple case of tit for tat...

Anonymous said...

Why would an ALJ be capable of releasing SSI funds early? Isn't that something to request from the FO?

Anonymous said...

@1:22 appears to be talking about misconduct and wrongdoing in general within the Agency, rather than the specific situation of the former ALJ.

Credible evidence of Retaliation involving misconduct and wrongdoing by SSA and ODAR management have surfaced, which has not been adequately addressed.

And 2:47, the avalanche of information we already know about Dockie (Garmon) and Carolyn confirm they are by no means Saints in all of this, just as 1:22 indicated. Holding public officials accountable is inconsistent with the type of cushy, sweet deal for Dockie, or Carolyn's undeniable manipulation to maintain power and control as Head of the Agency, and the reason she went to great lengths to do this. Her final decisions on issues pertaining to discipline and accountability must be scrutinized by investigators based on the evidence which has already surfaced.

Anonymous said...

What about the ALJ in Madison who has been describing claimants as looking like gorillas? Is anybody minding the store at SSA?

Anonymous said...

He could, I suppose, release a revised decision instructing the FO to release all the retro pay? That would be more than unusual and probably would prompt someone to look into it immediately. I've got to think the "information" provided to T.M. was that Conger was extremely hard up for a lay and would take it literally however her could get it. Highly doubt this was the mythical attractive SSI recipient...

Anonymous said...

@2:26

Glad to see they went after the one who was so clueless as to think he could deny interpreters to claimants who needed them at hearings though. I can only imagine what went through his mind in doing that. Fair hearings? We don't need no stinkin' fair hearings!

Anonymous said...

@11:56 and 1:22

SSA has tens of thousands of employees. In any big group, whether it be priests, criminals, congresspersons, or judges, you are going to get some people who do stupid and illegal things. That's no evidence of any big conspiracy by all the management. While I'm sometimes entertained by paranoid seeming speculations about such things they are about as dumb as saying that millions of claimants are fraudsters because we found a few who were. Sorry, but no.

Anonymous said...

@7:10

There is nothing in the comments from 1:22 and 11:57 which intimates paranoid speculations or a massive conspiracy by all SSA management. To the contrary, these individuals are referencing facts and evidence which are already known, as they each described in detail.

While it is true SSA employs thousands of employees, I do not concur with your whitewash assertion the large number of employees inevitably means you are going to have some who will engage in misconduct, and therefore, this should not only be expected, but the general public should automatically assume neither the Agency, nor the guilty individuals themselves, will be held accountable. Our society is one of law and order. If societal institutions were aloud to function as you assert, there would be no law and order.

The bottom line is facts and evidence has already entered the spotlight which convincingly suggests there is a systemic, widespread problem with retaliation, misconduct, and wrongdoing in SSA/ODAR, and a propensity to cover-up by certain top Agency power players and management officials, which deserve full court press Congressional and DOJ/law enforcement investigations.

I suggest you start dealing with reality, and the facts and evidence which has already surfaced, and discussed in media, including this blog.

Anonymous said...

Why has it not been written where Lemont is going..

He is leaving the agency (but not really).
He will be on the transition team for SSA - Clinton Administration

Anonymous said...

I understood Andrew Lamont Eanes left SSA. There was a going away party for him about a week ago. It's news to me that he is on the transition team for Clinton. Has he even been with the Agency long enough to have the degree of knowledge one would expect of a transition team member?

Was a sweet deal worked out for Eanes in order to allow Colvin to stay in power as Agency Head, i.e., promised renomination by Clinton, or other high level political appointee position within the Agency? Afterall, Eanes bore the brunt of Colvin's unprecedented fight to remain in power as Agency Head. He gave up a lot to come aboard as Obama's nominee, only to be shunned and completely stunted by Colvin's unprecedented quest to remain in power as Agency Head.

Management and top officials who frequent this board, please do not insult our, or the intelligence of the American public, by continuing to insist there was no motive behind Colvin's undeniable fight to maintain her power as Agency Head. Clearly, she had an agenda and reason for her unprecedented conduct, and the dots pretty much connect to the same reasons she was not confirmed, or renominated for SSA Commissioner, i.e., evidence of widespread misconduct and wrongdoing among several in the Agency. Any appearance of a massive conspiracy to cover up has to do with SSA and ODAR management's well known history of backing one another no matter how egregious the misconduct, not to mention promoting like minded favorites to the highest positions in the first place, as opposed to portraying those who have come forward with this information as being crazy and paranoid.

Anonymous said...

Or she didn't think Eanes would do a good job, or their personalities didn't mesh. It doesn't have to be a giant conspiracy. Would you want to train someone you thought was incompetent to do your job when you didn't want to leave?

Anonymous said...

@3:04

Seriously! Eanes was appointed by President Obama just as she was. Two peas from the same pod. One would not expect one to overtly shun and push out the other given these circumstances. I would like to know why Obama quietly allowed Eanes to be pushed out. Where has he been, and why has he turned a deaf ear to this?

With regard to competence, I believe most of us can agree Colvin has not demonstrated competence in managing the disability components within SSA. To the contrary, she has been a disaster, and bears much of the responsibility for the million plus backlog.

Further, a larger concern many have is how Colvin has allowed and handled misconduct and wrongdoing among employees in the Agency. When evidence of mere slaps on the wrists and sweet deals are being worked out for heavy weight officials like Garmon, who engaged in misconduct, and other employees who engaged in wrongdoing are also being given mere slaps on the wrists or not held accountable in any way, red flags are raised. This type of conduct from Colvin on down simply cannot be tolerated.

What about the employees who were the targets of the misconduct and wrongdoing, including criminal, by these individuals whose lives were completely upended and destroyed
for no good reason?
Do they not deserve justice? Where has Colvin been in their plights? Has she tried to help them, or worked out sweet cushy deals for them? No, she has not.

The conspiracy issue has already been well addressed by the 1:35 commenter, and requires no further discussion.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the management apologists who pop up with comments about how SSA has tens of thousands of employees and some of them are bound to be criminals. Always making excuses. Always trying to paint a rosy picture. Always refusing to acknowledge outside of closed doors that there's a problem. Maybe instead of putting on the rose colored glasses, management should collectively acknowledge and express horror when an alj has sex with a claimant or when an alj describes claimants as gorillas. Those are only two who got caught. Odds are that others have dodged the bullet and not been caught.

If one wants to get a somewhat scary psychological profile of an alj, take a look at the ALJ forum, and the kind of people awaiting alj positions. A majority of them sound like immature school girls waiting to be picked for a prom date. There's a weird level of giddiness and insecurity. Even among those who got picked, the discussion overall has a somewhat creepy vibe. They're giddy and insecure, but once picked, they at last have the power they sought, and vulnerable people have to depend on them.
Hopefully, participants in that forum are not representative of the alj corp at large.

Anonymous said...

@9:33

You make a straw man argument. 7:10 did not say that wrongdoing in the agency should not be policed. Clearly it should. He only pointed out the undeniable reality that if you have that many people in any group some of them will do wrong. The fact that some are caught proves him right. You'd need to be incredibly naive to believe otherwise. A hypothetical example: Let's say SSA employees are paragons of virtue compared to the general population and only 1% are dishonest and would do wrong if given the chance. 50,000 x .01 would still mean there are 500 such people in the agency.

Given that reality and human nature, a handful of examples of wrongdoing by agency staff is not enough to convince any reasonable person that current management needs to be sacked. If you have proof otherwise then prove it somewhere that matters.

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Anonymous said...

@11:47

9:33 here. I completely concur and defer to all of the convincing, honest and truthful arguments against your pro-management position so eloquently made by commenter 7:55 immediately above. Commenter 7:55 TOTALLY NAILED IT!

I can assure you any "reasonable person" with half a brain would concur with us and be in our camp.

Where does this leave you, and unfortunately, many other SSA/ODAR manager's?

Answer: On the sinking ship that is the Disability component of SSA which you, and the like-minded favorites you were so often willing to engage in Prohibited Personnel Practices to promote to management positions.

Do you not realize that where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all? This is the fallacy of far too many SSA/ODAR managers. Think long and hard about this because it is extremely relevant on so many different levels.

I cannot decide whether it is remarkable, or LMAO joy, that in trying so desperately to insult our intelligence, you repeatedly end up making yourselves look like fools. Either way, it's funny.

Anonymous said...

@7:10, 3:04 and 11:47

There is a great deal of misinformation in these comments about what a Conspiracy is.

Conspiracy only requires two or more people who agree to commit a (Federal) crime, and then take some sort of an overt action to do it. It does not even have to be a substantial overt act, only a step toward committing the crime.

Conspiracy does NOT entail a large number of evil people who gather into a large room, or join a group Internet or phone conversation, and then decide the crime they plan to commit.

Those found guilty of the crime of Conspiracy typically have no psychological paranoid disorders.

Per the DOJ, Conspiracy is the most frequently alleged crime by Federal prosecutors.

Thus, your understanding of Conspiracy, and what is required to be found guilty of the crime of Conspiracy, have no base in reality or law.