On Tuesday (April 8), the United States Office of Special Counsel filed complaints against three Customs and Border Protection officials, alleging they unlawfully manipulated the hiring process to put the favored candidates of Alan Bersin — assistant secretary of international affairs and chief diplomatic officer for the Department of Homeland Security — in career appointments. The Office of Special Counsel does not allege Bersin engaged in wrongdoing.
The complaints charge two of the three officials were improperly trying to convert non-career political appointees into career appointments — a process known as "political burrowing." The prohibited discrimination was based on the political appointees' close affiliationn with the campaign to elect Barack Obama. This was allegedly done when Bersin was head of Customs and Border Protection.
These are the special counsel's first such complaints in 30 years.