Larry Bush, HUD Spokesman, Sues Agency: Claims Violations of Anti-Secrecy Laws

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Larry Bush, a former aide to San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos once known as The Dark Prince of City Hall has sued his current employer, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The 64-year-old veteran San Francisco politico claims he was instructed by a supervisor to violate federal open government laws.

According to the June 28 federal discrimination complaint by Bush -- for 15 years a HUD public information officer serving the western United States -- his supervisor:

"had instructed him not to implement the Open Government Act of 2007 in the handling of Freedom of Information Act requests, not to implement a presidential executive order regarding open government and the Freedom of Information Act, and to disregard the confidentiality assurances provided in writing by the deputy secretary to all potential subscribers to HUD mail lists that their information would not be collected or used inside or outside HUD."
Bush, who has clubbed feet making it difficult for him to walk, also alleged that his supervisor, Caroline Krewson, discriminated against him by failing to accommodate his disability. A call to HUD's main San Francisco number was routed to the agency's spokesman: Larry Bush. He had no comment, and his attorney did not return a message by press time.

Krewson last made news in San Francisco in 2005, when she challenged the attempt of U.S. Attorney's office to terminate her.*

In a 2005 article in the San Francisco legal newspaper The Recorder, ace journalist Justin Scheck wrote:

Among other charges, Krewson was accused of: pointing out to others in the office that [the office's top administrative lawyer] had no management experience; saying at a meeting that her superiors were depriving her of her authority and that all the administrative staff were "twisted up like pretzels to get along with executive management;" and telling someone outside the office that she was being subjected to a hostile work environment.
Update, 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6:

Krewson wrote SF Weekly to say "I was not fired."

I transferred to another agency to a job I was selected for and not one arranged by the Department of Justice. I request that you withdraw the article as I anticipate harm to me for future positions.
We responded to Krewson midday Friday with a request that she explain to us what the numerous articles at the time that referred to her firing got wrong.

As of 3:30 p.m. Friday we hadn't yet heard from her. We'll keep you posted when we do.

Update, 11:59 a.m., Monday, Aug. 6:

Krewson responds:
 
I did receive a decision terminating me from DOJ but the effective date of the termination was extended, which provided the necessary time to transfer me to the other agency without a break in service. I found the new position on my own and not as the result of any arrangement by DOJ.  I did not comment on the Recorder article because we were in settlement discussions and I did not want to upset that process (the case did settle in November 2006).  I cannot say more about the case other than to clarify that I was not fired.  Ironically, my "firing" was a non-event until I went to OSC and they chose to start an investigation.  The recent coverage, however, loses sight of that fact that I was whistleblower and focuses instead on my "firing."

In light of Krewson's e-mail, SF Weekly has altered the text to note that Krewson was not "fired" -- as multiple media sources reported at the time -- but that higher-ups did attempt to terminate her.   


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