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Old 11-28-2013, 08:31 PM
45,585 posts, read 27,209,359 times
Reputation: 23898


Government waste at its best.

Head of scandal-plagued FMCS to resign following Washington Examiner series

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.

The Examiner series reported that FMCS employees spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxuries and that top officials retaliated against employees who questioned the spending.

Allison Beck-Chernikoff and her sister-in-law, Bonnie Chernikoff, who is Cohen’s administrative assistant, participated in no-bid contracting and spending on luxury items, emails reviewed by the Washington Examiner showed. Scot L. Beckenbaugh is another deputy of Cohen's.

Cohen is a union man who is receiving a pension from the United Steelworkers of America and held a position with the National Hockey League Players' Association at the time President Obama appointed him in 2009.

At a salary of $165,000, he oversaw the 230-person agency with a budget of $50 million that provides non-binding, voluntary arbitration between private companies’ and governments’ managers and unions.

"Let me give you the honest truth: A lot of FMCS employees don't do a hell of a lot, including myself. Personally, the reason that I've stayed is that I just don't feel like working that hard, plus the location on K Street is great, plus we all have these oversized offices with windows, plus management doesn't seem to care if we stay out at lunch a long time. Can you blame me?" said an FMCS employee who asked for anonymity.

Among the problems were incidents in which FMCS employees paid $85,000 to an apparently non-existent company established by a just-retired FMCS colleague, Charles Burton, with no one able to say why it was chosen or what services were provided. In another incident, a former top employee, Dan W. Funkhouser, billed multiple personal expenses such as cellphone lines for family members, and continued having the agency pay for items such as a storage facility full of photo albums, an old bed, and a lawn mower after he had retired.

Employees at FMCS who had billed hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers — Funkhouser spent some $30,000 on picture frames mostly purchased at a jewelry store — appeared to get off scot-free merely by retiring.


So I am wondering what this group actually does... and it sounds like something out of the union handbook.

Advancing the Nation's Welfare through Effective Settlements, Improved Labor-Management Relations and Conflict Resolution

Dispute mediation - and other conflict resolution services - are the tools and techniques used by FMCS to promote collective bargaining, strengthen labor-management relations, and enhance organizational effectiveness.

Is this really needed? Talk about an agency that can be cut for debt reduction... they admit they don't do anything.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:42 PM
45,232 posts, read 26,464,208 times
Reputation: 24994
Government is waste, period.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:29 PM
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 17,369,310 times
Reputation: 7990
I had missed this thread. It's good that the guy resigned, but I can't understand why this was not a bigger story. I googled for something about it from the NYT, ABC, NBC, etc, but got zip, zero, nada.

I'm reading Woodward's book about how they struggled to find things to cut as they were doing the 'sequester.' All the while, just a few blocks away on K street, this was going on at the FMCS. And it's probably still going on, just under a new director.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:26 AM
Location: CO
2,172 posts, read 1,454,726 times
Reputation: 972
Sounds like a sweet gig. Sign me up.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:26 AM
Location: Barrington
63,919 posts, read 46,765,593 times
Reputation: 20674
This independent agency dates back to 1947. In 2012, it mediated the labor dispute between the National Hockey League and the players. The FMSC does not charge fees for service. How silly is this?
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:29 AM
1,743 posts, read 1,659,410 times
Reputation: 808
Dont worry everyone , government knows best! LOL
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