Jun 28, 2018

By Barbara Kinosky,

For exactly three years Daniel Horowitz was paid his full GS-15 salary of $161,000 to do – well – exactly nothing. That delicious gravy train finally ended. We can now say that Dr. Horowitz was employed (past tense) by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), a small independent agency that I never heard of. He had been charged with misconduct over a kerfuffle on how he handled certain leadership roles but his case went into limbo. One day Dr. Horowitz was busy doing whatever PhD GS-15 Managing Directors do at the Chemical Safety Board, when armed police wearing protective armor escorted him out of his office. I do not know Dr. Horowitz but that does seem like a bit of an overkill when his only weapon may have been the periodic table.

The Public Employees for Environmental Research (another group I did not know about) is representing him at the Merit Systems Protection Board. They argue that he was terminated because congressional Republicans put pressure on the new chair of the CSB to say adieu to the chemist. They say the charges against him are vague and the onus was on CSB to make a decision about his extended leave but instead, they left him in paid limbo for three years. Dr. Horowitz, in an interview with Government Executive, said he offered many times to take on tasks and work from home but was rebuffed by the agency.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, attached a bill to the 2016 Defense Authorization Bill that limits the maximum administrative leave in these types of cases to 10 days. I note with some irony that 18 months later the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is still working out the details. OPM better hustle, because under the Trump government reorganization plan its role is being reduced. But that will probably take at least three years to do.

A thank you to Charles S. Clark for letting me crib from his breaking news story at Government Executive.

 

About the Author:

Barbara Kinosky | Centre Law & Consulting Barbara Kinosky
Managing Partner

Barbara Kinosky is the Managing Partner of Centre Law and Consulting and has more than twenty-five years of experience in all aspects of federal government contracting. Barbara is a nationally known expert on GSA and VA Schedules and the Service Contract Act, and she has served as an expert witness for federal government contracting cases.

 

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  • Ravi says:

    funny stuff.

    Please teach us to get a job like DR. Horowitz. I will brush up my organic chemistry. Promise

  • David Gerdt says:

    When I first started in small business, it was about a year when seven US Marshals quickly entered our office/lab space of about 1800 square feet. Six were armed. They met separately with us and interrogated each of the only three personnel (all PhDs), seized all the computers, discs, and a few other things and assured us that we had done nothing wrong. We were working on a couple of SBIR grants and now had nothing but the lab equipment and chairs. It took about two years to get the PCs back and by that time they were out of date. Nothing ever became of it. I remember the senior martial asking me if I had gotten a call from FedEx the day before. They had called me with a “package delivery address” question and mentioned that it was illegal for them to claim to be from the postal service, but it was OK to impersonate a FedEx employee. Probably happens a lot.

  • Timothy J Farris says:

    All I can say is “wow”. Even read in the most favorable way…what is up with the employer in this case? If the Dr. had committed a firing offense 3 years ago, they should have dealt with it appropriately then.