Back in 1912, Congress passed a statute prohibiting the “gag rule” under which Presidents stopped underlings from testifying to Congress. And in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Congress restated that no federal money can be used to pay the salary of any federal employee who “prohibits or prevents, or attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent, any other officer or employee of the federal government” from communicating with Congress.
Well, the in light of this law the GAO's Investigators Say Ex-Medicare Chief Should Repay Salary. It seem that the Bush administration illegally withheld data from Congress on the cost of the new Medicare law. Had the data been available, the bill would not have passed.
To keep the info from Congress, Thomas A. Scully illegally threatened to fire the chief Medicare actuary. As a result, he should not have received salary from that point on and must refunde seven months pay.
This is the sort of facts that scream “DC Circuit”… so the inevitable lawsuit will take at least nine months to sort out and probably much more. But Congress's power of the purse is its core and most plenary power. So I think Mr. Scully better be looking to the Scaife people for some help.
[Thanks to bobcox for the correction]
“Had the data been available, the bill would have passed.” — should probably have a “not” in there.