(Sorry about the clickbait headline, Congressman Gowdy, but clicks are the coin of the blogging realm.)
This settlement doesn’t involve thrusting tongues, roaming hands, pulsating body parts, penis photographs, or sex toys.
As chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) used $150,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle with a former aide who alleged he was fired in part because he was not willing to focus his investigative work on Hillary Clinton.
The Post confirmed the confidential settlement reached between Gowdy and the Benghazi panel and Bradley Podliska after it appeared in a list of settlements released Friday by the congressional Office of Compliance. Gowdy is now the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
In a list provided to the House Committee on Administration, the OOC disclosed it oversaw one $150,000 settlement involving a claim of veteran status discrimination and retaliation in the last five years. Podliska, in addition to claiming he was fired for his refusal to focus on Clinton, alleged retaliation by his supervisors because he took leave to fulfill his obligations as an Air Force reservist. His December 2016 settlement, which covered the veterans status and retaliation claims, was reported by The Washington Post at the time without the settlement amount.
Good old Washington Post. Podliska’s lawsuit did not include anything about the committee focusing on Hillary Clinton. That was in an early filing that was walked back.
The cause of action here was an alleged violation of Podliska’s rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, more commonly known as USERRA. He was an investigator for Gowdy’s committee and was reprimanded for not doing his job and mishandling classified information. To get out of a bind, he got active duty orders cut. The committee asked that he resign. He refused. And the whole matter went to court.
In the end, Podliska was paid $150,000 to just go away. It was a gift because, at least on its face, because the committee’s justification for firing had everything to do with Podliska being an egregious douche and nothing to do with him being an Air Force reservist…though it is an easy mistake to make (just kidding).
Personally, I don’t have a problem with this. It was a cheaper and more expedient route than a court case. Plus, this is the cost of doing business. It is in no way similar to paying hush money to conceal personal misconduct.