Campus Notebook: Slow Crimes, Quickly Punished

Posted January 23, 2009 at 5:52pm

A Library of Congress store clerk has been sentenced to 30 months of probation for stealing money from the register over a two-year period.

[IMGCAP(1)]Christine Rhodes, 61, told investigators that she took the money because she believed other employees were doing the same. The lack of a year-end bonus, she said, had made everyone disgruntled.

Rhodes pleaded guilty to the crime in early December along with John Moore, who entered fraudulent returns and pocketed the cash. Moore is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

District Judge Alan Fray also ordered that Rhodes pay a $1,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution to the Library, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Help From Hoyer. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will testify Tuesday at the first markup in the 111th Congress for the D.C. Voting Rights Act, giving advocates hope that House leadership will quickly bring the bill to the floor.

The bill would grant the District its first voting seat in the House.

D.C. voting advocates are confident that on Tuesday it will pass out of a markup in the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

In 2007, an almost identical bill easily passed the House and came just three votes short of overcoming a filibuster in the Senate.

Out in the Open. House committees are now required to hold hearings every four months on waste, fraud or abuse in the government programs they oversee, thanks to a newly passed House rule.

The rule, sponsored by Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), will mean a closer look at not only Government Accountability Office reports but also Inspector General reports, which usually are only for eyes within the agency.

The hearings, according to the rule, will “focus on the most egregious instances of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement as documented by any report the committee has received from a Federal Office of the Inspector General or the Comptroller General of the United States.”

Breeding, With Pay. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) reintroduced a bill to give federal employees four weeks of paid leave, after the bill failed to make it to the Senate in the 110th Congress.

Currently, new parents have to use annual and sick leave. Maloney argues that federal employees shouldn’t have to deplete that time.

“Families should not have to choose between a paycheck and getting their newborn home and settled in, especially in these economic times,” Maloney said in a press release.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is expected to sponsor a companion bill in the Senate.

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