The former chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board has been using a government office, telephone, computer and secretarial service to hunt for a job in the six weeks since he left the bank board.
Edwin J. Gray has been using facilities in the bank board's Office of Regulatory Policy, Oversight and Supervision, or ORPOS, since his term ended July 1.
The bank board is the federal agency that regulates the S&L industry and, through ORPOS, oversees individual S&Ls.
Gray quietly created ORPOS last fall as a separate division of the bank board so that its top employes could be paid salaries above the federal pay cap of about $75,000. ORPOS does not receive government tax funds, but operates on congressionally mandated fees charged to the savings and loan industry -- and ultimately paid by S&L customers.
ORPOS director William L. Robertson, whom Gray hired for the six-figure job, said that it was his decision to allow Gray use of the office, computer and secretary, even though it was his understanding that Gray was not doing work for the government.
Asked about the propriety of private citizens using government facilities, David Martin, head of the Office of Government Ethics, said, "It would be improper for a nonfederal or federal employe to use government facilities for personal purposes." Martin said he is not familiar with what arrangement Gray may have with the bank board, but said he will inquire into the matter.
Robertson said this week that he did not have any idea how long Gray intends to use the office or whether Gray is making long-distance calls on government telephones. Robertson said ORPOS secretaries have screened Gray's calls, but he said he had no idea if the secretaries have typed letters for Gray.
Several weeks ago, bank board spokesmen Pat McKelvey and Doug Green said that Gray was using the ORPOS office as a place to temporarily store his bank board documents while helping the new bank board chairman, M. Danny Wall, assume control of the agency.
But a spokesman for Wall yesterday confirmed that Gray has been using the government office and staff to hunt for a job. Wall's spokesman said the arrangement was set up before Wall took over the agency but that Wall and Gray subsequently have agreed that Gray cannot use the office past Sept. 1.
Wall's spokesman confirmed that ORPUS secretaries have typed personal letters and envelopes for Gray and that Gray has used bank board staff to respond to telephone calls from the press. Gray has responded to inquiries about the office through bank board spokesmen.
Bank board spokesmen said the arrangement for Gray is similar to one that the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., William Isaac, had when he left the agency. But a spokesman for Isaac yesterday said that Isaac only used government facilities while performing government business, namely helping the new FDIC chairman assume control of the agency. The FDIC insures deposits at commercial banks