Most Corrupt Bush Appointees: Claude Allen
FORMER TOP BUSH AIDE ARRESTED IN RETAIL SCAM
March 12, 2006, LOS ANGELES TIMES, by Nicole Gaouette --President Bush expressed disappointment, sadness and shock March 11, 2006, over the arrest of his former domestic policy advisor, Claude A. Allen, in suburban Maryland, on charges he stole merchandise from Target and other stores, in what police said was a scheme that lasted months and netted him more than $5,000 in goods that ranged from a Bose home theater system to $2.50 trinkets.
Police said Allen "would buy items, take them out to the car, and return to the store with the receipt. He would select the same items he had just purchased, and then return them for a refund." Some of those crimes were caught on video surveillance tapes, police said.
Police telephoned the White House on Jan. 2 to confirm Allen's identity. That same day, Allen told White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. that there had been a misunderstanding. On Jan. 3, Allen met with White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers and told her that several recent address changes had led to confusion about his credit cards. A few days later, Allen told Card and Miers he was thinking of resigning to spend more time with his family, but he stayed on to help the president prepare for the Jan. 31 State of the Union speech.
Allen...one of the first African American aides to then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.)...went on to serve as the Health and Human Services secretary for Virginia, where he cemented his conservative bona fides by denying a low-income rape victim Medicaid funds for an abortion. In 2001, Bush appointed Allen to the No. 2 post at the U.S. Department of health and Human Services, were he promoted abstinence-only AIDS-prevention programs.
In 2002, Bush tapped him for a seat on the federal appeals court, but Democrats blocked the nomination, in part because of comments Allen made while working for Helms. Discussing Helms' political opponent, Allen had said the man was vulnerable because he had ties to "queers." At his confirmation hearings, Allen told senators that he had meant people who were "odd, out of the ordinary."
Bush resubmitted the nomination in 2004, but it languished through the year, and Allen withdrew from consideration.
© 2006 Los Angeles Times
UPDATE: ALLEN PLEADS GUILTY
August 5, 2006, WASHINGTON POST, Ernesto Londono -- Claude Allen pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor theft and was sentenced to probation with judgment--a disposition available to first-time offenders in which the judge acknowledges the guilty plea but keeps it off the defendant's criminal record. Thus Allen avoids jail; if he completes his two years of supervised probation satisfactorily, his record could be expunged.
His wife cited Hurricane Katrina as one of the stressful issues that Allen was grappling with last Fall.
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