President Joe Biden Fires Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton
President Joe Biden fired Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton on Monday, after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Bryan Steil, chairman of the House Administration Committee, called for his resignation. Blanton faced multiple allegations of ethical and administrative violations, according to an Inspector General report, which found that he misused government resources and misrepresented himself as a law enforcement officer.
The Architect of the Capitol has the duty of managing and running the US Capitol, as well as taking care of other related tasks. On January 16, 2020, Blanton was officially sworn in for a decade-long period.
The Inspector General's report found Blanton had misused multiple office resources, including improperly using official vehicles to drive all around the Washington region, as well as to South Carolina and Florida, and had impersonated a law enforcement officer after a family relation experienced a hit-and-run. In June 2020, Blanton drove his government-issued Jeep Grand Cherokee in pursuit of a suspect involved in a hit-and-run near his residence.
Last year, a half-dozen lawmakers with oversight and funding power over the Architect of the Capitol's office called for Blanton’s resignation, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the Rules Committee Chair, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). Blanton was given the opportunity to respond to numerous allegations of legal, ethical, and administrative violations but failed to directly respond.
At the hearing, Blanton said, “I wholeheartedly reject any assertion that I have engaged in unethical behavior during my service to this country while serving in this particular role, I have taken my commitment to transform the agency’s culture to promote positive workplace for every AOC employee.
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