Watchdog: Just Sign Here

A five-part series by the Washington Examiner watchdog team

Bureaucrats at tiny federal agency FMCS buy legions of luxuries with purchase cards

By Luke Rosiak | 10/01/13 12:00 AM

Part one of a five-part Washington Examiner series, "Just Sign Here: Federal Workers Max Out at Taxpayer Expense." See the entire series at this link. One federal employee leased a $53,000 take-home car with taxpayer money in apparent defiance of federal regulations and regularly billed the...
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Reckless spending goes straight to the top at FMCS

By Luke Rosiak | 10/02/13 12:00 AM

Top officials of the FMCS lavished taxpayer funds on themselves, made the phantom company of a recently retired employee one of their largest vendors and spent tens of thousands of dollars on storage spaces near their homes. Part two of a five-part Washington Examiner series.
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FMCS executives forced whistleblower to retract fraud complaint

By Luke Rosiak | 10/03/13 12:00 AM

FMCS employees' use of purchase cards amounted to rampant violation of federal procurement law, specialists say, and when an employee wrote to the GSA to ask for a compliance review, the agency director and another top official forced her to send a “retraction.” Part three of a five-part...
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Federal officials cede power to contractors who write themselves sweetheart deals

By Luke Rosiak | 10/04/13 12:00 AM

Officials at theFMCS effectively ceded control to outside contractors who helped write their own contracts and became angry when asked to compete for work, according to official emails reviewed by the Washington Examiner. Part four of a five-part Washington Examiner series.
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Wounded vet blew whistle on FMCS, rewarded with pink slip, harassment

By Luke Rosiak | 10/07/13 12:00 AM

Weeks after Tanya Pelcher-Herring told oversight bodies that the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was breaking federal contracting rules and wasting tax dollars, the agency terminated her employment for not reporting to work.
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Impact: FMCS under congressional fire after Examiner report on widespread waste and fraud

By Luke Rosiak | 11/14/13 12:00 AM

House Oversight Committee officials led by Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have launched an investigation into multiple allegations of wrongdoing at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
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Impact: Head of scandal-plagued FMCS to resign following Washington Examiner series

By Luke Rosiak | 11/26/13 12:00 AM

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George Cohen is resigning only days after learning he is a target of a congressional inquiry spurred by a Washington Examiner series.
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Continuing coverage: Obama invites whistleblower-squashing appointee under investigation to White House

By Luke Rosiak | 12/04/13 12:00 AM

What does it say when someone who resigns under the cloud of a congressional investigation one week gets to speak at the White House the next week? As director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, George H. Cohen presided over massive waste, irregular contracting and questionable...
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EXography: Globe-trotting honchos spend big on FMCS' dime

By Luke Rosiak | 04/08/14 12:00 AM

Odds are good that wherever the words "labor" or "arbitration" are mentioned at meetings around the world, somebody from the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be there.
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EXography: Federal agency FMCS gave grants to promote union membership

By Luke Rosiak | 04/22/14 12:00 AM

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service gave a grant of $101,000 in federal funds to Wisconsin construction unions who complained that union workers were at a disadvantage in hiring because managers had to pay them more than others.
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Statement from FMCS in response to the Examiner's questions

"These items which the Examiner is inquiring about appear to have been the subject of a now-settled employment dispute involving a disgruntled FMCS employee. These purchasing issues were addressed in the settlement, but must remain confidential under federal personnel rules, as noted, in the absence of a release from the employee.

"When FMCS became aware of this employee's concerns about the Agency's procurement practices, we took immediate actions. These actions included taking steps to ensure that the Agency's internal processes meet federal regulations. Additionally, we obtained a review by an outside, independent authority regarding FMCS procurements made over a period of years. We conducted a prompt and thorough investigation and a review of our own internal processes. With the settlement of the employment dispute, the conclusion of our own investigation and reviews by outside authorities, the allegations were dropped and outside authorities indicated they would take no further action."

Elements in this series

Tuesday: Bureaucrats at tiny agency buy legions of luxuries with purchase cards

Wednesday: Reckless FMCS spending goes straight to the top

Thursday: FMCS heads forced whistleblower to retract fraud complaint

Friday: Federal officials cede authority to outsiders who write own contracts

Monday: FMCS fired whistleblower wounded vet after ICU stay

Got tips?

Do you know more about what's going on at the FMCS -- or any other federal agency? Contact Luke Rosiak at

Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service salaries, 2012

Name Job State Base Bonus Total
Beckenbaugh, Scot LMediationDC$163,924$10,000$173,924
Leonard, Frances LFinancial ManagementDC$163,924$7,500$171,424
Cohen, George HMediationDC$165,300$0$165,300
Beck, AllisonMediationDC$155,500$7,500$163,000
Ramsey, AdamGeneral AttorneyDC$157,595$3,940$161,535
Blake, Donald SMediationPA$155,500$5,000$160,500
Sweeney, John EMediationNJ$155,500$5,000$160,500
Hoffman, Eileen BarkasMediationDC$155,500$3,888$159,388
Starr, Dawn EGeneral AttorneyDC$155,500$3,888$159,388
Traynham, Vella MMiscellaneous Administration And ProgramDC$155,500$3,888$159,388
Gonzalez, Linda GMediationCA$152,025$5,000$157,025
Pinto, John W JrMediationPA$150,719$5,000$155,719
Summers, Thomas AMediationIL$149,562$5,000$154,562
Bralley, Eugene GMediationMO$147,857$5,000$152,857
Schindler, Beth MMediationWA$145,629$5,000$150,629
Delgado, Sergio AMediationFL$144,065$5,000$149,065
Ditillo, Robert SMediationOH$145,828$0$145,828
Murray Cannon, KathleenMediationNY$141,726$3,543$145,269
Schaffer, Joel BMediationCA$144,990$0$144,990
Mckenney, Denise PMediationDC$140,259$3,506$143,765
Germany, Timothy LMediationNY$141,726$0$141,726
Weinberg, David AMediationCA$141,175$0$141,175
Giacolone, Richard RMediationVA$140,274$0$140,274
Bartlett, Michael JGeneral AttorneyDC$136,771$3,419$140,190
Butler, Sharon LAccountingDC$136,771$3,419$140,190
Statham, James WMediationMI$136,628$3,416$140,044
Buffington, Kevin KMediationCA$140,008$0$140,008
Jones, Douglas AInformation Technology ManagementDC$136,134$3,403$139,537
Gabrick, John VMediationNJ$138,092$0$138,092
Handel, John TMediationCA$137,360$500$137,860
Kessler, Stephen JMediationCA$137,360$500$137,860
Tatte, Carlos JMediationNJ$134,458$3,361$137,819
Hughes, Gerald RMediationIL$137,740$0$137,740
Donatello, Peter WMediationNJ$134,458$3,271$137,729
Muir, John JMediationNY$134,458$3,271$137,729
Bednarczyk, Walter JMediationPA$134,096$3,352$137,448
Chabot, Paul BMediationRI$137,410$0$137,410
Gomez, Gerard MMediationMA$137,410$0$137,410
Lim, Gregory JMediationCA$137,360$0$137,360
Spalding, Erin MMediationCA$137,360$0$137,360
Sylvester, LynnMediationDC$136,771$500$137,271
Hatchett, James WMediationMI$136,628$0$136,628
Nowakowski, Michael GMediationMI$136,628$0$136,628
Hattal, Gary RichardMediationWA$134,947$0$134,947
Lichtman Tayar, BarbaraMediationPA$130,658$4,266$134,924
Porter, Berkina DSupport Services AdministrationDC$132,009$2,500$134,509
Serota, Guy AMediationNJ$134,458$0$134,458
Fischer, Steve JMediationTX$134,448$0$134,448
Quattrocchi, RalphMediationNJ$130,825$3,180$134,005
Mcfadden, William PMediationMD$129,758$3,656$133,414
Saunders, KurtMediationDC$133,264$0$133,264
Frank, Jeanne CarolMediationMN$133,182$0$133,182
Franklin, Mitchell SMediationMN$133,182$0$133,182
Walters Marquez, JeannetGeneral AttorneyDC$129,758$3,244$133,002
Weimer, Constance MMediationOR$132,510$0$132,510
Lopez, Raul DMediationCA$129,239$3,141$132,380
Cinquemani, Peter JrMediationAZ$128,557$3,214$131,771
Shields, William HarrManagement And Program AnalysisDC$126,251$5,000$131,251
Thaler, David AMediationNJ$130,825$0$130,825
Harris, John DMediationTX$130,814$0$130,814
Kelleher, Joseph RMediationRI$130,364$0$130,364
Born, David FMediationIL$127,145$3,090$130,235
Mcneive, Peggy AMediationMO$125,695$4,142$129,837
Romer, Jo Nette EMediationMN$129,767$0$129,767
Broughton, Glorious LHuman Resources ManagementDC$129,758$0$129,758
Mansolillo, Joseph AMediationCA$129,726$0$129,726
Voltin, Darlene CMediationMN$126,352$3,159$129,511
Eder, Gary LMediationMD$126,251$3,156$129,407
Nguyen Gia, HaoInformation Technology ManagementDC$126,251$3,156$129,407
Shank, Paula EInformation Technology ManagementDC$126,251$3,156$129,407
Brown, Barry JMediationGA$127,976$1,000$128,976
Gill, William MMediationMI$125,695$3,142$128,837
Ritter, Lavonne CMediationNV$125,695$3,142$128,837
Short, Robert EHuman Resources ManagementDC$126,251$2,455$128,706
Collotta, Ronald JMediationAZ$128,557$0$128,557
Dubin, Joseph WMediationCT$127,877$500$128,377
Bullock, Vanessa DMediationPA$127,219$1,000$128,219
Harstad, Lane AMediationMN$124,527$3,317$127,844
Oglesby, Rick LMediationWA$127,240$500$127,740
Flesher, Jenifer AMediationOH$127,321$0$127,321
Brommer, Carolyn TMediationOH$123,971$3,016$126,987
Kinney, James PMediationNJ$123,557$3,089$126,646
Flax, JoshuaMediationMA$123,317$3,083$126,400
Butler, HeatherHuman Resources ManagementDC$123,758$2,630$126,388
Mccutcheon, Dana JInformation Technology ManagementDC$126,251$0$126,251
Leclair, Daniel EMediationPA$125,695$500$126,195
Tempel, Elayne LMediationME$125,695$500$126,195
Renfro, James DMediationTX$126,049$0$126,049
Norton, Keith BMediationMN$122,938$3,073$126,011
Hilpp, Louis EdwardMediationKY$125,695$0$125,695
Kirkpatrick, RichardMediationMO$125,695$0$125,695
Cheng, Peter MMediationTN$122,472$2,981$125,453
Leaphart, James FMediationGA$124,608$0$124,608
Ramirez, JavierMediationIL$120,082$3,414$123,496
Carpino, John AlbertMediationMA$123,317$0$123,317
Washington, Cynthia DContractingDC$122,744$300$123,044
Bowling, Connally SMediationIN$119,792$2,995$122,787
Delgado Alberto, Ines MMediationFL$122,765$0$122,765
Escudero, GilbertMediationFL$122,765$0$122,765
Hart, Clint DMediationTX$122,643$0$122,643
Crum, Clifford WMediationWV$122,472$0$122,472
Groton, Henry P JrMediationFL$122,472$0$122,472
Hendrix, Roger LMediationMO$122,472$0$122,472
Thompson, Robert JMediationKS$119,249$2,981$122,230
Berman, Dale AMediationCA$122,060$0$122,060
Harragin, ValerieMediationCA$122,060$0$122,060
Judy, Dan RMediationOH$120,488$500$120,988
Erskine, M Kathleen OMediationWA$120,363$500$120,863
Franczak, Michael SMediationOH$120,620$0$120,620
Corwon, Douglas MMediationOH$117,270$2,848$120,118
Dula, Joseph PMediationIL$120,082$0$120,082
Jeffery, Thomas KMediationIL$116,551$3,414$119,965
Maki, Donald EMediationWI$116,027$3,401$119,428
Dillard, Robert RMediationAL$119,249$0$119,249
Martinez, David MMediationNM$119,249$0$119,249
Simmons, Kathleen FMediationNV$119,249$0$119,249
Yurish, Thomas WilliamMediationPA$119,249$0$119,249
Doern, John MMediationKS$116,027$2,901$118,928
Everman, John RMediationNC$116,027$2,901$118,928
Lucas, Charles WMediationAL$116,027$2,901$118,928
Mcmillion, Michael RMediationTX$116,027$2,901$118,928
Meehan, Gerald JMediationIL$116,027$2,901$118,928
Teel, Dennis MMediationAZ$118,669$0$118,669
Catanzariti, Carol JMediationHI$118,415$0$118,415
Miklos, Fulton JMediationPA$118,273$0$118,273
Wood, Jacques MMediationPA$118,273$0$118,273
Yoedt, John BMediationPA$118,273$0$118,273
Viskocil, Timothy JMediationOH$117,270$0$117,270
Pollard, Thomas JMediationCT$117,221$0$117,221
Bower, Timothy HMediationIN$116,027$0$116,027
Garrow, Edward CMediationNY$116,027$0$116,027
Mabe, Danny LMediationIA$116,027$0$116,027
Rucks, James LMediationCA$116,027$0$116,027
Rumph, Barbara DMediationMO$116,027$0$116,027
Van Wychen, Daniel JMediationWI$116,027$0$116,027
Salmon, Michael JMediationOH$115,768$0$115,768
Trost, Alan JInformation Technology ManagementDC$115,742$0$115,742
Donnen, James CInformation Technology ManagementDC$112,774$2,819$115,593
Kluczycki, Mary FMediationNY$115,590$0$115,590
Cherioli, Thomas RMediationMN$112,694$2,817$115,511
Savidge, Kevin MMediationPA$113,467$0$113,467
Evans, Charles DMediationIL$113,019$0$113,019
Glaser, Lu Ann JMediationPA$112,804$0$112,804
Sherwood, James V JrMediationVA$112,804$0$112,804
Shepard, Laura JMediationOH$112,461$0$112,461
Dunn, Patrick LMediationMO$109,581$2,659$112,240
Putman, Susette CMediationFL$109,581$2,659$112,240
Clark, Darrell DMediationOR$112,125$0$112,125
Morrison, Ronald SMediationNE$109,581$0$109,581
Reed, Glen B JrMediationMO$109,581$0$109,581
Sedrowski, Lawrence EMediationMI$109,581$0$109,581
Bauman, Anthony JMediationNJ$109,022$0$109,022
Hawkins, Kevin JMediationNV$106,358$0$106,358
Moyer, Kevin JMediationOH$106,358$0$106,358
Dougherty, Dennis JamesMediationCO$103,771$2,342$106,113
Queer, Richard AMediationPA$105,132$0$105,132
Drake, DouglasMediationWI$103,361$0$103,361
Hilbert, Daniel FMediationWI$103,361$0$103,361
Phillips, Teresa BMediationIL$103,136$0$103,136
Chernikoff, BonnieMiscellaneous Administration And ProgramDC$97,936$4,000$101,936
Warren, Kimberly AyersPublic AffairsDC$97,936$3,448$101,384
Jordan Rigsby, Alberta DMediationMI$100,798$0$100,798
Cockroft, Matthew RMediationOH$100,518$0$100,518
Martin, Mark AMediationTN$99,913$500$100,413
Gray-Broughton, Linda TGrants ManagementDC$97,936$2,374$100,310
Bennet, Luther WMediationTN$99,913$0$99,913
Larson, Randall TMediationIL$99,913$0$99,913
Lee, Terry GAccountingDC$97,333$500$97,833
Higdon, Richard FTelecommunicationsDC$97,333$0$97,333
Littleton, Tina MarieMediationCA$97,216$0$97,216
Henninger, Robert FMediationPA$96,690$0$96,690
Montani, Scott LMediationNY$96,690$0$96,690
Tiscareno, Rosa MMediationIL$95,641$0$95,641
Pelcher Herring, TanyaHuman Resources ManagementDC$92,001$1,781$93,782
Velazquez, Ligia MariaMediationWA$93,126$500$93,626
Olson, Thomas WMediationIL$92,653$0$92,653
Kettler, Julie AnnMediationOR$92,010$500$92,510
Buck, Ramona WMediationDC$92,001$0$92,001
Valentine, JimmyMediationCA$91,141$0$91,141
Trejo, Jose JrMediationCO$90,742$0$90,742
Nunez, IsraelHuman Resources ManagementDC$89,033$0$89,033
Passwaters, Larry BMediationMD$89,033$0$89,033
Gray, JohnMediationOH$87,802$0$87,802
Disotell, Jennifer RMediationWA$87,306$0$87,306
Pinckney, Shelley HMediationWA$87,306$0$87,306
Jeffries, Cynthia JMediationNY$87,278$0$87,278
Cobb, Amanda SFinancial AnalysisDC$84,855$1,978$86,833
Millen, Stephen AMediationMN$86,697$0$86,697
Pearlstein, Arthur BMediationMN$86,697$0$86,697
Brahaney, Daniel KMediationMI$84,550$0$84,550
Davis, Shane MMediationIA$84,550$0$84,550
Ellis, Mark HMediationLA$84,550$0$84,550
Tuecke, James EverdMediationIA$84,550$0$84,550
Hermosillo, IsaelMediationCA$84,308$0$84,308
Poole, Tammy LynnMediationKY$81,823$0$81,823
Glover, Romona MMiscellaneous Administration And ProgramDC$77,368$2,372$79,740
Pierce, KarenMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$74,958$1,753$76,711
Skolochenko, Mery IMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$73,917$1,848$75,765
Poppendeck, Laura AnnMediationPA$73,408$0$73,408
Reid, Nadene NMediationNJ$64,729$0$64,729
Johnson, Susan RSecretaryCA$64,417$0$64,417
Lee, Lynda GMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantWA$62,437$1,519$63,956
Tucker, Stephanie LSecretaryCA$62,203$500$62,703
Colandria, Michael HMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$61,952$0$61,952
Hall, Yvette LGeneral Business And IndustryDC$60,232$1,506$61,738
Filosa, Donna ESecretaryNJ$61,352$0$61,352
Radogno, Elda ZSecretaryIL$61,195$0$61,195
Tunney, Kathleen FSecretaryIL$61,195$0$61,195
Shoulders, Peggie JMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$60,765$0$60,765
Rose, Carol JBudget Clerical And AssistanceDC$59,207$1,480$60,687
Rafferty, Sharon LSecretaryPA$58,049$500$58,549
Lawson, Marcus AMiscellaneous Administration And ProgramDC$58,511$0$58,511
Wright, Shakima FMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$56,791$1,624$58,415
Miller, Rozmyn KMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$56,791$1,500$58,291
Ingram, Shanyta MHuman Resources AssistanceDC$57,649$0$57,649
Logan, Kenneth ESecretaryWA$56,531$1,000$57,531
Ross, Pamela OneedaVoucher ExaminingDC$56,092$1,402$57,494
Brain, Brenda MSecretaryOH$56,566$500$57,066
Glaspie, Gladys ASecretaryDC$54,875$0$54,875
Mosley, Shirley JVoucher ExaminingDC$54,875$0$54,875
Strassler, Barry MAccountingDC$54,875$0$54,875
Washington, Barbara LMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$52,061$2,152$54,213
Lau Lopez, Victor MAccounting TechnicianDC$52,061$0$52,061
Hammonds, Margaret DMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$49,375$1,234$50,609
Lewis, Lorraine BMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$49,375$300$49,675
Stuart, Lakisha MMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$45,578$0$45,578
Geisen, Steven MSecretaryMN$45,518$0$45,518
Young, Patricia MMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$43,046$1,376$44,422
Wilson, Sonya NMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$37,983$1,152$39,135
Johnson, Keith LamontMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$37,983$300$38,283
Sherman, Jerome JrMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$37,983$300$38,283
Nichter, SuzanneMiscellaneous Clerk And AssistantDC$34,075$300$34,375
Source: Asbury Park Press