Stupak Slams FCC Homeland Security Boss, IG

According to the report, Derek Poarch routinely violated travel regulations.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., wants more than reform from the FCC. He’d like to see the departure and even an FBI investigation of Derek Poarch, Martin’s appointee as chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, which Martin created. Stupak has also had it with FCC Inspector General Kent Nilsson.

On the matter of the IG, the report issued Tuesday by the House Commerce Committee charges that Nilsson is too close to senior commission staff to investigate wrongdoing at the commission in a fair way.

Stupak, chairman on the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (within the House Commerce Committee) on Tuesday echoed the report’s call for legislation to make the Inspector General post a presidential appointment, confirmed by Congress, instead of an appointment by the FCC chairman.

According to the report, Nilsson illegally withheld information from Congress, drove staff to quit because of a hostile work environment and had unauthorized contacts with a potential vendor gunning for an FCC auditing contract.

What’s more, said the report, he audited the FCC mailroom because he was unhappy with his mail being opened and inspected for anthrax at a Maryland facility.

As for Poarch, the former chief of police at the University of North Carolina before Martin appointed him to the Public Safety and Homeland Security post, Stupak called for an FBI investigation and said that Poarch may have committed criminal violations.

But the charges against Martin’s fellow Tarheel and one-time campus cop are more mundane than actually trying to influence policy.

According to the report, Poarch routinely violated travel regulations, including using non-contract air carriers, renting premium-class vehicles, receiving per diem payments for non-work days and maintaining inaccurate time, attendance and leave records.

“It goes right to Mr. Martin’s judgment that he appointed Mr. Poarch to that position,” Stupak said in a conference call with reporters.

He said the investigation would continue even if Martin’s job does not, as the committee still lacks documents it has requested from the FCC. Also, Stupak said, FCC staff have been hesitant to come forward during the Martin rule for fear of retaliation.