(UnitedVoice.com) – The Biden administration seems to have gone to war with the least likely enemy you could think of. In February, Biden fired the Architect of the Capitol. Now the White House has kicked out several senior officials in the Architect’s office.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 9, 2023
Most Americans probably haven’t heard of the Architect of the Capitol, but this little-known official and their office are responsible for running and maintaining the whole 570-acre complex that houses our legislature. Until February, the Architect was J Brett Blanton — but for almost two years, legislators and others had been complaining about how he was running the office.
A November 2021 report by the office’s Inspector General identified a string of violations, including unauthorized use of official vehicles, ethics violations and government funds misused to buy an SUV for the office that was, in fact, customized for use by Blanton’s family. Finally, enough legislators complained that even Biden had to take action, and on February 13, he fired Blanton and appointed chief engineer Chere Rexroat as acting Architect.
However, it seems Blanton wasn’t the only problem in the office. On April 7, Rexroat purged the department’s management team, firing several senior staff including the office’s general counsel, chief financial officer, chief administrative officer and chief of staff. The terminations were announced in an email, which didn’t give any details about why the officials were being removed. No public allegations have been made against any of them. The office’s CEO for visitor services was fired at the same time, but that’s believed to be a separate issue; last week, another IG report revealed that she’d been having an “inappropriate” relationship with one of her subordinates.
Staff members were shocked by the latest round of firings; one called it a “massacre.” Meanwhile, Rexroat’s email to staff said the Government Accountability Office will also carry out a review of the Architect’s office.
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