Homeland Security Acting IG Put Wife on Payroll, Took Private Trips on Public Dime

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

Another Obama success story. Or scandal, whichever way you want to look at it.

The acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security flouted nepotism rules by employing his wife, and took multiple jaunts, at taxpayers’ expense, to Florida, according to documents obtained by The Post.

The documents show at least four trips that Charles Edwards — the acting inspector general assigned to root out fraud in the agency’s $40 billion budget — took from DC to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, where he was earning a computer and information-sciences degree at Nova Southeastern University, in 2011 and 2012.

Travel receipts submitted by Edwards list the university’s name next to the rate charged by the hotel, apparently corroborating claims by whistle-blowers who told two lawmakers and a watchdog group that the acting IG was using so-called government “site visits” for his own personal advancement — since, they allege, there was no reason for him to make an official visit to Fort Lauderdale.

“If those allegations turn out to be true, then this deputy inspector general is violating his role as a public servant who is being paid on the taxpayer dime,” said Mary Beth Hutchins, of the group Cause of Action, which shared documents it had obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request with The Post.

Receipts for the Fort Lauderdale Marriott list “Nova SE University” on the room-charge receipt. Gas receipts reveal that he filled up near the school, as well.

Edwards (pictured) also gave bonuses to employees who helped him complete school assignments and write his Ph.D. dissertation, and he retaliated when employees complained about his conduct, according to Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who are investigating “misconduct and abuse” in the case.

Other travel documents show several $1,500 trips to Puerto Rico, where Edwards stayed at the Ritz and at a Marriott resort, and a $954 voucher to Homeland Security for his stay at the Miami Marriott.

The documents also could point to nepotism, Cause of Action officials said. Edwards employed his wife, Madhuri, as an auditor in his office — in apparent violation of agency anti-nepotism laws — according to Johnson and McCaskill.

Nice work if you can get it. Edwards has been Acting IG since February 2011. If anything he’s acting like the prototype Obama appointee.

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3 Responses to “Homeland Security Acting IG Put Wife on Payroll, Took Private Trips on Public Dime”

  1. holidays in morocco on 22/22/13 at 10:28 am

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  2. Observer on 23/23/13 at 10:59 am

    Charles Edwards? Come on, who is this guy anyway. Probably more like Rajamajajaja Gupta. Fire him and send him and his stolen PHD back to Calcutta.