Reps. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) yesterday asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Terrence M. Scanlon, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, perjured himself before federal investigators and a Senate committee.
In a letter released last week, Scanlon, who is awaiting approval of his appointment as chairman, said he used a federal employe and government equipment to handle personal business on several occasions. Scanlon, who was investigated by the General Accounting Office, had denied to GAO investigators and in previous letters to a Senate committee that he used his staff and other government resources for personal work.
The Senate Commerce Committee is set to vote today on whether to confirm Scanlon's appointment as CPSC chairman. He has been serving in that capacity since last December on a recess appointment.
Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Waxman, chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcomittee that has juridiction over the CPSC, also called on the Senate yesterday not to act on Scanlon's nomination until a Justice Department investigation into Scanlon's actions can be completed.
"We are writing to urge that your committee and the Senate not act on this nomination until the completion of Department of Justice proceedings and a decision has been made regarding whether Mr. Scanlon's conduct in this case warrants prosecution under the laws of the United States," Dingell and Waxman said in a letter yesterday to Senate Commerce Commitee Chairman John C. Danforth (R-Mo) and Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.), the panel's ranking minority member.
Scanlon could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Scanlon was investigated by the GAO after being accused by Joan Claybrook, president of the Public Citizen lobby, of using government resources for personal work and antiabortion activity.
In response to Claybrook's allegations, Scanlon had repeatedly denied those allegations.
Results of the GAO investigation, released last week, said allegations that Scanlon had abused his office could not be proven, but GAO investigators were unable to talk to one employe, who later was interviewed by Danforth and Hollings.
In their letter to the Senate committee yesterday, Dingell and Waxman said, "At a minimum, Mr. Scanlon's conduct evidences remarkably bad judgment; at a maximum, it shows a clear disrespect for the laws of this nation and the Congress."