Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

Posts in "Staffers"

October 13, 2015

Levin Staffer Arrested for Allegedly Beating Lover With Shovel

Baltimore City Police arrested an aide to Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., at around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 8 for criminal domestic violence charges.

Tim Foster, a native of Henderson, Ky., brutally beat his male lover with a small black and red shovel, according to a police report obtained by CQ Roll Call, leaving the victim hospitalized with abrasions and bruises on his upper back, neck and torso. Full story

October 6, 2015

Bridging Technology and Policy, One Fellow at a Time


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When National Security Agency surveillance became a top issue on Capitol Hill, Travis Moore realized he didn’t have the knowledge base to understand the technology — and neither did anyone else in Congress. Now he’s working to change that.

In conjunction with the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, Moore launched a new technology fellowship for Congress on Oct. 1 known as “TechCongress,” which is designed to bring technology experts to Capitol Hill to bridge the technology-policy divide. Full story

September 30, 2015

Gridlock to Governing: Staffer Joins D.C. Council Office

Austin is excited about her move from Capitol Hill to D.C. government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Austin is excited about her move to D.C. government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keenan Austin’s work day now begins by climbing the steps of the John A. Wilson building, instead of the Cannon House Office Building.

Austin recently became the latest congressional staffer to depart the gridlocked institution for the District of Columbia government, joining At-Large Councilmember David Grosso’s office as his new chief of staff in September.

Full story

September 22, 2015

Bipartisan Pair Pushes for Federal Pay in Shutdown

Federal workers protested at the Capitol in 2013 to call on lawmakers to end the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Federal workers protested at the Capitol in 2013 to call on lawmakers to end the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With just over a week until the government funding deadline, one Democrat and one Republican are banding together to ensure federal workers aren’t adversely affected by a shutdown.

Virginia lawmakers Don Beyer Jr., a Democrat, and Rob Wittman, a Republican, circulated a letter to their House colleagues Tuesday, urging them to co-sponsor a bill that would guarantee any workers who are furloughed or continue working during a shutdown would receive retroactive pay. Beyer and Wittman represent roughly 12o,000 federal workers combined. Full story

September 17, 2015

Democrats Push Guaranteed Federal Pay in Shutdown

Federal parks closed during the 2013 shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Federal parks closed during the 2013 shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Congress hurtling toward a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, some lawmakers are working to ensure federal workers will be paid in the event of a shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and a handful of other Democrats, including those representing scores of federal workers in Maryland and Virginia, introduced a bill Thursday to ensure federal workers furloughed in the event of a shutdown would be paid as soon as possible. Full story

September 1, 2015

OPM Awards Credit-Monitoring Contract in Wake of Data Breach

Millions of individuals affected by the June data breach at the Office of Personnel Management will receive three years of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance, the agency announced Tuesday.

The Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have awarded a more-than-$130 million contract to Identity Theft Guard Solutions, working as “ID Experts,” to provide three years of services to the 21.5 million individuals, and their dependent children, affected by the June data breach that involved background investigations. More than 22 million current, former and prospective government employees were affected by two breaches at the agency, which were first reported in early June. Full story

August 19, 2015

Ex-Cochran Aide Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

UNITED STATES - JULY 9: Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., heads to the Senate floor for a vote on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cochran heads to the Senate floor for a vote on July 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The former aide to Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran who was arrested as part of a sex-for-drugs scheme pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

Fred Pagan, 49, admitted in federal court just a few blocks from the Capitol that from February until he was arrested in April, he participated in a scheme to possess and distribute meth and assist others in possessing the drug.

On April 23, Homeland Security Investigations agents raided Pagan’s home in Northwest D.C. after law enforcement intercepted a package of the date rape drug gamma-Butyrolactone, or GBL, which was shipped to the address from China. During the raid, the agents also discovered meth in a tightly wrapped package in a binder underneath his bed. In earlier court documents, Pagan allegedly told authorities he had planned to elicit sexual favors in exchange for the GBL and the meth.

Pagan was originally charged with one count of possession and intent to distribute and one count of importing a controlled substance. In April, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, and attorneys indicated in July that a plea deal was in the works.

But Wednesday, Pagan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Pearlman declined to comment as he exited the hearing. And a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office also declined to comment on the change in charges, citing an ongoing investigation.

Pagan and defense attorney Kobie A. Flowers did not comment as they left the courtroom following the plea hearing, which lasted around 30 minutes. During the proceedings, the gray-haired Pagan stood solemnly as he responded to U.S District Judge Beryl A. Howell’s questions about his guilty plea.

In questions about his competency, Pagan revealed has been receiving treatment for a meth addiction and takes daily medication. “I feel good,” Pagan said when asked if the medication affected him. “That’s what the medication does for me.”

According to court documents, Pagan admitted to knowingly and willfully conspiring “with other persons both known and unknown” to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, meth. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether the revelation of a conspiracy  or that Pagan was working with other individuals  indicated there would be further arrests in the case.

The statement of offenses obtained, which Pagan agreed to as part of his plea, cites two other individuals involved in the scheme, only identified as “Co-Conspirator 1″ and “Co-Conspirator 2.” According to the court documents, Pagan used meth from at least November 2014 until April 2015.

In February 2015, Pagan agreed to obtain meth from “CC1″ which was shipped to Pagan via “CC2.” Pagan allegedy received one package of meth in February and four in March. He and CC1 arranged for CC1 to pick up the packages at Pagan’s home, since the co-conspirator “in part wanted to avoid detection” for too many packages going to his or her residence.  Pagan was allegedly aware CC1 distributed meth to other individuals and also drove CC1 to the airport on at least two occasions where CC1 “traveled in part to obtain methamphetamine.”

Though there was no mention in the hearing of the date rape drug that prompted the federal raid, the statement of offense did address the GBL. According to the document, Pagan admitted to ordering GBL and to doing so on at least two other occasions. He also admitted to using GBL and sometimes selling meth to friends.

The arrest cost Pagan his job, where he earned around $160,000 annually working as Cochran’s personal assistant and office administrator, according to the LegiStorm database. Cochran’s office dismissed Pagan on May 15, after he spent decades working for the Mississippi Republican. Pagan, a native of Jackson, Mich., first came to the Senate as a page for Cochran when he was 16 years old, and essentially never left. He reportedly finished his high school degree while continuing to work for Cochran, and confirmed in court Wednesday that he did not earn a college degree.

By pleading guilty to the felony offense, Pagan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. He also could receive a term of supervised release of a minimum of three years and up to life. Pagan also agreed to pay a “special assessment” of $100 per felony conviction.

Pagan was released under the same prior conditions that he continue treatment and return to court. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.


Former Cochran Staffer Hopes for Plea Deal in Sex-for-Drugs Case

Senate Aide Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Drug Charges

Cochran Staffer Confesses to Sex-for-Drugs Scheme, Feds Say

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August 4, 2015

Marine Corps Fellow Arrested for Having Gun on Capitol Grounds

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:35 p.m. | Capitol Police arrested a member of the Marine Corps congressional fellowship program Tuesday afternoon for having a loaded gun on congressional property.

Gunnery Sergeant Peter Boby was arrested after officers discovered loaded .45 caliber handgun in his vehicle during a routine vehicle inspection outside of the Rayburn House Office Building. USCP spokesperson Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider said in a statement, “At approximately 2:00 pm today at Washington Avenue and C Street, SW, USCP officers were conducting administrative security screening required for entry into the secure perimeter.  Officers discovered a loaded .45 caliber handgun in a vehicle.” Full story

Second Hill Langar Raises Awareness About Sikh Faith

(Photo by Les Talusan/SALDEF)

(Courtesy Les Talusan/SALDEF)

For the second time on Capitol Hill, staffers, lawmakers and citizens gathered in the Rayburn foyer, removed their shoes, donned orange head scarves and participated in a centuries-old Sikh tradition.

The second “Langar on the Hill” recently drew roughly 350 people for the tradition centered around equality, in which attendees sit on the floor and share a meal regardless of racial or socioeconomic barriers. Attendees covered their heads with orange scarves and removed their shoes, reflecting practices for entering a Sikh temple, also known as a gurdwara.

Full story

August 3, 2015

Norton Looks to Extend Workplace Protection to Congress’ Staff

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., announced Friday she plans to introduce legislation to extend workplace protections and civil rights laws to congressional employees.

“If Congress, our nationally elected legislature, is not yet a workplace where workplace laws are fully applied, how can Congress sit in judgment of public and private employers who must comply with the full complement of laws?” Norton asked in her statement announcing the bill. Full story

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