A former chief financial officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development allegedly came up with a novel plan for propping up his retirement income.
Before retiring from his job, David Ostermeyer helped the agency draft a contract solicitation for a senior advisor. The problem was, the Justice Department announced on Friday, Oct. 25th, Ostermeyer planned to apply for the job after retiring.
In an effort to ensure it would go to him, he allegedly looked in the mirror – and found the perfect candidate, tailoring the solicitation to his specific skills and experience.
Ostermeyer, who left the agency in 2012, has agreed to pay the government $30,000 to settle allegations that he participated in a matter in which his personal financial interest conflicted with his official duties. As part of the settlement, he made no admission of wrongdoing.
“We expect government officials to earn and maintain the trust of taxpayers by acting with the highest integrity,” said Stuart F. Delery, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division. “This requires, at a minimum, that they do their work free of prohibited conflicts of interest.”
Federal conflict of interest laws make it a no-no for executive branch employees to participate personally and substantially in matters in which they have a financial interest – i.e. defining a job that you plan to be yours.