The U.S. Attorney's office in Washington yesterday ordered 22 federal agencies here to begin deducting one-quarter of the salaries of 36 federal employes working in the District of Columbia who have defaulted on student loans or who have received overpayments from veterans education benefits.
The office is also moving to obtain court judgments against another 100 federal employes who have been identified as not having paid back their loans or veterans benefits, according to U.S. Attorney Stanley S. Harris. That could net another $200,000, prosecutors said.
Harris said the action yesterday, which is expected to net some $63,000 in overdue payments, was authorized under a law that went into effect in October allowing federal employes' wages to be garnished for such delinquencies.
"Federal employees should not be able to receive their full salaries from the federal government and at the same time fail to pay long overdue debts which they owe the government," Harris said in a press release yesterday.
The action here follows a similar move by the federal prosecutor in Alexandria, who last week took action against six federal employes in the Tidewater area. A total of 35 federal employes in the eastern Virginia area owe the government about $150,000.
The 36 District of Columbia employes owe between $365 and $5,629, plus interest on debts dating back to the 1970s, according to a spokesman in the U.S. Attorney's office.
Ten of those 36 employes work for the U.S. Postal Service, four others work at the Government Printing Office, another three work at the General Services Administration and two are employed by the Navy. The remaining 17 are employed at 17 other agencies, ranging from the Department of Justice to the Securities and Exchange Commission.