For those who have enjoyed our coverage of the allegations of sex, false expense claims and forced resignations at the U.S. Consulate in Naples (and if you have not read the story, catch up here and here), there is good news: according to sources close to the case, the FBI has now stepped in.
Following allegations that then-Consul General Donald Moore had a sexual relationship with an employee, submitted false expense claims, served out-of-date food to official guests and saw long-time employees fired in what some claim are retaliatory acts when they tried to expose his shenanigans, the State Department followed its standard procedures:
–express “concern” and promise a full investigation;
–transfer the alleged perp to another cushy assignment (a “pivot”);
–pressure the whistleblower into quitting;
–sweep the rest under the rug. Movin’ on for more 21st century diplomacy.
The problem with this one is that it did not go away. The whistleblower, instead of fading as State counted on, found proper legal representation and filed charges. State actually loves when people try to work through its system– it gives them a chance to express more “concern” and promise more full investigation, all the while hoping the whistleblower either gives up with time or that the length of the it-ain’t-gonna-conclude “investigation” bleeds her dry in fees and despair.
However, as in so many things, State’s 19th century model is outdated. The Naples story was picked up by the media, including a major New York newspaper and, with exclusive access to witness reports, this blog. The old model of keeping reporters compliant by hand-feeding them bon mots from the Secretary does not matter outside of the usual sleepers at the networks. Public pressure does not always work, but sometimes it does. The FBI stepped in and, we are told, is on the ground in Naples conducting the investigation State planned on avoiding.
See ya’ next time, Department of State!
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