Dozens of government employees at the U.S. Census Bureau have been billing taxpayers for time they never actually worked, wasting more than $1 million.
The 40 officials were supposed to be performing background checks on the census personnel who walk door-to-door throughout the country to collect information about Americans. Instead, they "engaged inpervasive misconduct over several years," according to an investigation by the Commerce Department's inspector general.
The watchdog found at least one employee in the Census Bureau's employment office who "used his official position as a personal hiring vehicle for friends and their families."
That employee, who was not identified, "was involved in a sexual relationship" with a contractor he personally interviewed, hired and supervised.
He also launched a year-long campaign to get a job at the Census Bureau for his friend's son, an effort that was apparently unsuccessful.
The inspector general found that dozens of employees claimed to have worked at least 19,162 hours during which they actually did not work at all between 2010-14. The "time and attendance abuse" drained nearly $1.1 million.
But after a whistleblower alerted the agency watchdog to the billing scheme, census officials attempted to "intimidate" anyone who was cooperating with the inspector general investigation.
Another unnamed employee repeatedly called the whistleblower a "coward" and a "chickens---," among other names.
It seems like we hear another story like this every day -- the fraud, waste, and abuse in D.C. is out of control. Fortunately, there's something the American people can do about it. By supporting an Article V Convention of States, citizens of each state can hold our federal official accountable. Constitutional amendments coming out of a convention can limit the power and jurisdiction of our federal officials, and make it much more difficult for them to waste our time and money.