Politics

Hillary’s Highly Paid IT Guru At State Department Had No National Security Experience

Hillary Clinton’s politically appointed State Department information technology manager had no national security experience and may have enjoyed a 55 percent pay hike after Clinton departed as secretary of state in February 2013, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

Bryan Pagliano joined Clinton in 2009 as a top-level IT strategist and adviser. He previously was IT director of Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The White House personnel office must approve political appointees before they are hired.

Pagliano was hired as a GS-15 even though he had no national security experience or security clearance. He was paid $140,000 annually at the outset but that was reduced to $136,000 in 2011 and 2012, according to the Asbury Park Press, which posts federal compensation data.

In addition to his government salary, Pagliano also received compensation directly from the Clinton family, but did not list it on his annual financial disclosure forms, according to the Washington Post.

Pagliano described himself at the State Department on his LinkedIn page as a “strategic advisor and special projects manager” to the department’s Chief Technology Officer.

He was assigned to the State Department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management, a highly classified system which manages the digital traffic of 50,000 U.S. diplomats and foreign service officers at the 250 U.S. embassies and consulates located around the world.

Prior to working for Hillary’s presidential campaign, Pagliano was a senior systems engineer at Community IT Innovators, a small IT firm that catered to non-profit organizations. The organization represented liberal advocacy groups, community services organizations, schools and NGO’s, according to its web site.

Pagliano also managed Clinton’s private email server, which was located in her home in Chappaqua, New York.  He reportedly managed the server remotely from the State Department and in site visits in New York when there were outages.

That a State Department employee managed Clinton’s home email server could undermine her original claim that it was private.

“Mrs. Clinton’s argument that her server was ‘personal’ fails on many levels. And certainly having a State Department employee provide IT servicers for that server certainly blows that argument out of the water,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch is a nonprofit watchdog with multiple suits against the State Department regarding its response to the group’s Freedom of Information Act requests for documents related to the email scandal.

Mark McDougal, Pagliano’s attorney from the Akin Gump law firm, told Congress this week that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and decline to answer congressional questions about Clinton’s server if he is subpoenaed. McDougal did not respond to a DCNF request for comment.

In February 2013, the same month Hillary left as Secretary of State, Pagliano’s GS-15 employee status ended and he joined Gartner, Inc. a global IT company, according to his LinkedIn web page. Gartner has received 176 contracts and subcontracts from the State Department since 2007 collectively worth more than $14 million

While the State Department refused to disclose Pagliano’s contractor or any other details about his current or past employment status, federal contracting data bases show that on January 3, 2013, the State Department awarded Gartner $212,871.29 for an employee to work in the IRM where Pagliano remains despite having left the firm last November.

Going from $136,000 to $212,000 would be a 55 percent compensation boost.

Switching employers while maintaining the same government job has been decried by government reform advocates for many years.

The nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight estimated in a September 2011 report that using private contractors over government employees doubles costs to taxpayers.

“I think it’s a common occurrence for a federal employee to leave the government and to work for a contractor in the office in which they worked,” said Scott Amey, POGO’s general counsel. “That’s one of the reasons why people leave government service, there is an increase in salary.”

The State Department’s refusal to disclose details of Pagliano’s employment status did not sit well with Amey.

“When it comes to spending taxpayer dollars, federal agencies should come clean whatever arrangements they have to bring in contractors or consultants,” he said.

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