Michael Wholley détruit un enregistrement interne à la NASA

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Lawmakers Ask for Probe of NASA Official

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 14, 2007; 10:14 PM

HOUSTON -- Two congressional leaders asked the Department of Justice on Thursday to investigate whether NASA's general counsel broke the law when he destroyed recordings of a talk between the space agency's boss and the staff of its internal watchdog office.

Last month Michael Wholley told the House subcommittee that oversees NASA that he broke the CD recordings and threw them into the trash because he thought that if they were kept by the agency, they could be subject to public records laws.

Reps. Brad Miller, D-N.C., and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who lead the subcommittee, said Wholley may have destroyed government records and tried to obstruct a congressional investigation into NASA's Inspector General Office.

"Wholley's knowing destruction of sensitive records in his possession was a great detriment to our committee's investigations," the lawmakers said in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The CDs recorded an April 10 meeting in Washington between NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and staff members in NASA's inspector general office. Griffin had called for the meeting after a government board issued a scathing report saying NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb appeared to be too friendly with the space agency bosses and created an abusive work environment for his employees.

Dozens of federal agencies have inspectors general to investigate allegations of fraud, abuse, misconduct or waste.

NASA press secretary David Mould said the space agency would cooperate fully with any investigation.

In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Griffin said he fully supported Wholley. Griffin said he didn't believe Wholley did anything illegal, but he might have made a mistake in how the destruction of the CDs would be perceived politically.

"What Mike did is break up a few CDs," Griffin said. "We use these CDs like popcorn. I'm sure he is happy to replace the CDs he broke with other CDs."
Space Opera
Space Opera

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